As we age, it can become harder to take care of small jobs around the home, but caring volunteers can make a huge difference by donating their time to help our population of senior citizens. Take Drogheda & District Support 4 Older People, for example, which looks after over 500 senior citizens annually living in Drogheda, south Louth and East Meath.
It is not unusual to see volunteers helping older people with small repairs and maintenance jobs in their homes and gardens, thanks to the organisation’s Care & Repair programme. A team of 19 volunteers carry out an average of 10 jobs per week, and trusted service providers are used for larger jobs.
According to volunteer manager, Dave Turner, the organisation decided to apply for lottery funding as it was unable to keep up with the demand for the Care & Repair programme. It received €2,500 in 2016, which it put towards the purchase of a second-hand van and more gardening and painting equipment.
“The funding made an enormous difference as it enabled us to have two teams of volunteers now, which has basically doubled our capacity and efficiency,” says Dave. “Our clients are happy that they can now avail of our service on a more regular basis,” he says. “We also now have new clients in areas that we were unable to reach before.”
It is not just the senior citizens who benefit though, as the funding has helped provide more volunteering opportunities for people who are interested in gardening, painting and general household maintenance.
The organisation also provides services such as information provision, a visiting service to ease loneliness, a telephone service and computer classes. One very cool feature is that it holds classes two evenings per week teaching conversational English to new immigrants, using older people as the teachers.
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. Over €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.