Se abre otra plaza para este Servicio Voluntario Europeo de 12 meses en Irlanda. La fecha límite para el envío de candidaturas es el 30 abril 2015.
Dates of EVS
October 2015- September 2016.
Background and Experience
St Patricks is a non-profit organisation which provides accommodation and support for adults with physical and neurological conditions. Furthermore we have a community based service where we support individuals in their own homes. We operate on a 24 hour day, 365 days per year. At present we support 21 service users between the residential and community setting. These are aged between 41 and 73. Service users who wish to move out of St. Patrick’s into their own homes are being supported to do so. Between St. Patrick’s and our community service we have 60 staff, thirteen Community Employment Workers, 11 local volunteers and four EVS volunteers.
St. Patrick’s aims to provide quality, person-centred services. This facilitates people with disabilities to live a life of their own choosing. We also strive to promote the concept of “The Right Relationship” i.e. do unto others as you would have them do unto you and an individualised service for each service user. Our service users are treated with the utmost respect and their dignity and privacy maintained at all times.
Our residential service is located in Tullow, Co. Carlow, which is small town located 85km from Dublin. Within the environs of the town there are four supermarkets (ALDI, LIDL, Tesco and Supervalu) a post office, a library, three pharmacies, several pubs, hairdresser, beauty salons, a golf club and spa resort.
The nearest large town to Tullow is Carlow. It is 13km away and has a great variety of shops and amenities. These include two shopping centres, a cinema, swimming pool and leisure centre, pubs/ restaurants/nightclubs and much more. Carlow has a train station where you can get connections to most parts of the country. Bus Eireann have a service from Tullow and Carlow with the service from Tullow going directly to Dublin. Also Kavanagh’s bus hire have a frequent service connecting Tullow to Carlow during the week.
The EVS volunteers will assist our service with their activities/ hobbies. They will support the service users to socialise, interact and connect with their local community. They will also help the service user maintain their activities of daily living. The volunteers play a key role which enables the service users to partake in activities of their own choosing, which normally, take place outside the environs of the service users home. Volunteers will accompany services users on trips such as the cinema, swimming, bowling, fishing, bingo, concerts and many other social outings. These occasions are the perfect opportunity for volunteers to become familiar with the locality and meet people from all walks of life. Also the volunteers will assist the service users with their correspondence, to build on their computer skills, access their emails, browse the Internet and update their social media (Facebook, Twitter). This support would be delivered on a one-to-one basis as the individual support needed by each service user will vary. All new ideas and suggestions are welcomed. The volunteers would bring these to the attention of the Community Integration Facilitator and where possible they will be discussed and implemented with the service users. Fresh ideas and suggestions not only enrich the service users’ lives but can also lead to better opportunities and experiences for them. We aim to have meetings with our volunteers on a one-to-one basis as well as group meetings. In general we aim to have the one-to-one meeting once a month and the group meeting every six weeks. By having these on a regular basis it allows for a forum where ideas, topics and suggestions can be talked about.
On a daily basis the volunteers will support the service users with their money management. These would involve tasks such as shopping and bill-paying. Each volunteer will be provided with the opportunity to receive training around assisting service users with eating difficulties, seizure management, safe moving and handling etc. The volunteers will also be given the option to be trained on how to assist service users with some elements of their daily care routine. This is a unique opportunity for the volunteers as they gain valuable knowledge and experience which they can then take with them. To date we have found that the volunteers may not have the opportunity to do this in their own countries.
We have been hosting EVS volunteers since October 2012. For that project there were three volunteers. As a result of this we have gained valuable experience from hosting different volunteers. We strive to make each project enjoyable as well as keeping it fresh in order to sustain the longevity of being a host organisation. With each project we always aim to make it worthwhile for the volunteers to connect with the local community and give them a true experience of Irish culture.
Rebekah Hanbidge who is the Community Integration Facilitator in St. Patrick’s will co-ordinate the volunteers project. She will be the direct contact person for the volunteers. She will deal with any issues or concerns the volunteers may have as they arise. We had four senior care support leaders who are assigned a volunteer each. However one has since resigned since the last project and one of the senior care support has two volunteers. We have a male volunteer arriving in October and we hope to assign a male member of staff to him. The reason we do this is because it acts as a buddy support system for the volunteers throughout their project cycle. These staff members would be another outlet for the volunteers and a valuable resource when looking for community links and ways to interact with the local environs. It also acts as a key element to ensuring the volunteers become a working part of the St. Patrick’s team.
At present we have two external mentors. We are currently advertising for a third mentor through our local volunteer centre. It is our hope we can recruit a female. This is due to the fact that we have two males which the present volunteers have a great relationship with, but by bringing a female to the mix it will create a better gender balance. Our two male mentors are Tommy Rooney and John Downey.
Tommy Rooney worked in St. Patricks for 28 years. He retired in 2013. Tommy is kind, caring, approachable and friendly man who had an excellent relationship with past volunteers, which we hosted from different parts of the world. He lives in Tullow and has a vast knowledge of the surrounding areas as well as what is happening, what would be of interest. Tommy is also an asset when it comes to ensuring the volunteers integrate into the local community. In February 2013, he attended the EVS mentor workshop held by Leargas.
John Downey will provide the supports of mentorship, one-to-one support, social and cultural interaction. He aims to do this through regular assessments and support each volunteer on a one-to-one basis should any issues/difficulties arise during their activity dates. He has plenty of experience and recognised qualifications in Employment Welfare, Stress Managements and Social Studies. He takes the volunteers out on a regular basis on social nights and traditional Irish nights out. He’s full of new ideas and is always thinking of ways for the volunteers to be actively involved with them.
Description of the Project
In this project we hope to continue our work of connecting service users with their local community. This would be done with the service users who live in St. Patrick’s and our community service. Part of this process would be identifying roles the service users have or might like to have and figuring out the best way to build on/obtain these roles.
Objectives: St. Patrick’s aim to provide quality, person-centred services that facilitates people with disabilities to live a life of their own choosing. We promote the concepts: “The Right Relationship” i.e. do unto others as you would have them do unto you. All our service users are treated with dignity, respect and privacy at all times, including their personal choice and unique individuality. The main inspiration of this project will be working with each individual service user around establishing normative roles and integration into the community. This would entail working with each service user and identifying what roles they already have and what roles they would like to play or be a part of. The reason this work is done is because we are trying to create and establish “the good life” for each of our service users. We are also trying to create a shift from negative to positive perceptions of a person with a disability outside the environs of St. Patricks.
In order for our EVS project to work in the best way possible, we need to ensure we select the most suitable volunteers. The volunteers should have the following attributes:
- The volunteers should be sensitive, empathic, patient and understanding towards service users.
- The volunteers should have good interpersonal skills and enjoy working with and alongside people.
- They should be capable of working within a team as well as working on their own initiative.
- Due to the fact our service is based in rural Ireland, the volunteer would to enjoy country life within a rural setting.
- A good level of English is not essential, however it is advised in order for the volunteers to understand basic health and safety issues.
Our selection process is bases on the following criteria.
The volunteers will email us about our project, after they have looked at it on the EVS database. The Community Integration Facilitator will select the volunteers that seem like a good match for the project. These volunteer’s motivation letters and C.V.s will be given to a service user who then looks over them also and gives feedback on them. The volunteers that seem like the most appropriate candidates are then emailed and invited for a Skype conversation/interview. The volunteers who are not successful are always contacted with feedback and encouraged to apply for further projects.
When choosing participants for our projects we look for participants who have varied interests, hobbies and experience. This is due to the fact that the activities the service user engages in are varied and individual to them. We hope to have an equal male to female ratio as not only is this good for the volunteers themselves but also for both our male and female service users. Some of our male services users prefer the company of males and the same can be said for our female service users who prefer the company of females. We always try to create a balance in terms of age also. This is due to the fact the older volunteers will be able to offer some guidance to our younger volunteers and support them during the project.
We will be in regular contact with both the volunteer and sending organisation by email, phone and Skype before the volunteers arrive and during the project. We have mentorship and supervision support for the volunteers. We have regular meetings one-to-one and group to discuss their placement, any concerns/issues they may be having, address their learning and their support on a daily basis. Their sending organisation would co-ordinate the travel tickets with the volunteers, look after their insurance, European Health Insurance Card, and to provide pre-departure training before the volunteer travels. They would go through the EVS Info-Kit with the volunteer also. The sending organisation will remain in contact with the volunteer and the host organisation during the project and upon the volunteers return they will provide support to the volunteer and help them reintegrate then they return home after their project is ended.
On arrival in St. Patrick’s the volunteers will undertake induction training which will include fire safety, personal care and assistance. All volunteers receive a Handbook, which contains all the information they will need to know during their stay in St. Patrick’s. They will be trained around transport, safety, vehicle safety and how to operate the service users and electric wheelchairs. They will also receive training for Safe Moving and Handling, Fire warden and all other Cheshire training. The volunteers will not be asked to do something which they are uncomfortable with. We have a Health and Safety Committee who conduct Risk Assessments on an ongoing basis. The volunteers will receive a copy of the Cheshire Chain of Contact list in case of emergencies. The volunteers will have regular meetings with The Community Integration Facilitator and their mentors. This allows for any issues/concerns to be discussed in detail and confidence. We will provide linguistic training for the volunteers throughout the project and they will have access weekly Skype classes also.
Each volunteer has their own bedroom, with bed linen and towels provided by St. Patricks. The bathroom, kitchen, and sitting room are share by the volunteers. The volunteers have the option of cooking for themselves or availing of their meals from the kitchen in the house. Their accommodation is located on the grounds of St. Patrick’s. Volunteers have the use of the laundry facilities after hours and can avail of Cheshire transport when a service user is going out and there is space available. We provide support for them to drive the Cheshire transport if they are interested and suitable to do so.
St. Patrick’s is a non-profit organisation which provides accommodation and support for adults with physical and neurological conditions. Furthermore we have a community based service where we support individuals in their own homes. We operate on a 24 hour day. 365 days per year. At present we support 21 service users between the residential and community setting. These are aged between 41 and 73. Service users who wish to move out of St. Patrick’s into their own homes are being supported to do so. Between St. Patricks and our community service we have 60 staff, thirteen Community Employment Workers, 11 local volunteers and four EVS volunteers.
St. Patrick’s aims to provide quality, person-centred services. This facilitates people with disabilities to live a life of their own choosing. We also strive to promote the concept “The Right Relationship” i.e. do unto others as you would have them do unto you and an individualised service for each service user. Our service users are treated with the utmost respect and their dignity and privacy maintained at all times.
Our residential service and most of our community service is located in Tullow, Co. Carlow, which is a small town located 85km from Dublin. Within the environs of the town there are four supermarkets (ALDI, LIDL, Tesco and Supervalu), a post office, a library, three pharmacies, several pubs, hairdressers, beauty salons, a golf club and spa resort.
The nearest large town to Tullow is Carlow. It is 13km away and has a great variety of shops and amenities. These include two shopping centres, a cinema, swimming pool and leisure centre, pubs/restaurants/nightclubs and much more. Carlow has a train station where you can get connections to most parts of the country. Bus Eireann have a service from Tullow and Carlow with the service from Tullow going directly to Dublin. Also Kavanagh’s bus hire have a frequent service connecting Tullow to Carlow during the week.
The EVS volunteers will assist services users around the activities area within St. Patrick’s and the community service. They will accompany service users on outings, home visits, bowling, shopping, cinema and all other outings the service users choose to go on. Without the volunteers the service users would not be able to do these activities. The volunteer will also support the service users to engage with their local community. They will be part of the process of connecting the service users with their wider community, developing existing and new roles. They will play a key part in enriching the individual service users life and support them to aspire to living “the good life”.
Volunteers will assist service users in their own home – performing light house duties, paying bills, making shopping lists, gardening and baking/cooking. The volunteers will support the service users around their communications such as sending emails, writing letters and making phone calls etc.
The volunteers are provided with the opportunity to receive training to assist people with eating difficulties, and for those who my want to, support service users with some elements of their daily care routine. These skills are ones the volunteers can take with them and put them into practice long after their project has ended. It is also a worthwhile experience to have. Volunteers are always motivated to use the skills they have to St. Patricks along with their cultural diversity.
Volunteers will work five out of seven days and will work a variety of shifts covering from 8am until midnight. There are different shifts and the times do vary because they will depend on what is happening in St. Patricks and what activities the service users are engaging in.
We are always looking for new and improved ideas/ways of supporting our service users. This is fantastic opportunity for volunteers to introduce new concepts and inject fresh views within St. Patricks and the local community. We have regular meetings which are formal and non-formal, where all concerns/issues/ideas/motivations can be brainstormed and worked out.
At present we have four volunteers. Two of these will be finished in September 2014 and the other two in March 2015. We will have two new volunteers starting in October 2014 and hopefully we will have two new volunteers for this project starting in April 2015.
For the selection of the volunteers we will need:
– Europass CV with picture (made in the last month)
– Motivational letter, writing that your sending organisation will be “Building Bridges”
Remember to write in the motivation letter that your sending institution is “Asociación Building Bridges.
All documents written in english you can send to: firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “EVS Ireland Patrick”