About our volunteers

The work we do in Galway Simon Community would not be possible without the support and dedication of our amazing volunteers.  Volunteers are vital to all aspects of the organisation from the shops to working with clients in our services. Each volunteer contributes in their own way and they make a huge difference to the people we support.

Hear from some of our past and present volunteers about their time volunteering with Galway Simon Community.

Our full-time volunteers

Every year, we have 10 volunteers from all over the world who make the journey to Galway to dedicate their time to work with those who are facing homelessness. Our housing services rely on full-time volunteers who work alongside our fully qualified staff to support our clients. Watch our video to hear more about why they chose to volunteer full-time and about their experiences.

Thanks to our funders Leargas and Erasmus + who help us to deliver the full-time volunteer programme.

Erasmus LogoLeargas Logo

Our part-time volunteers

“I would befriend anyone in the housing services that I visit two days a week. Any of the men that are there I can go for a cup of tea or coffee with them or sit with them and have a chat, I accompany a few of them to medical appointments or going to pay bills, or any of that stuff. Mainly it’s moral support. It gives them a feeling that there’s somebody there who cares about them…..

Before I started volunteering my perception was a lot different. I would have had the common stereotypical view of people that are homeless as the person that was sleeping on the street but there’s a whole lot more to it than that unfortunately.”

David Larkin, Former Be-friender
Marie, Shop Volunteer with Galway Simon Community
“No two days in the Briarhill shop are the same. On a daily basis I could be a shop assistant, a clothes sorter, answer the phones, a till operator, basically whatever happens to be there in front of me at the time I do.

It’s hard to describe a typical day because I suppose it really depends on who comes through the door. So you just never know, some days are very quiet. Some days are extremely busy. Some days you don’t leave the phone out of your hand, some days you could spend sorting clothes the whole day.

Its good fun working here, chaotic at times, but its good fun. It’s the people that make it, people here are good fun and I think I wouldn’t do it unless I got on well with the people. The people who come in to donate as well, you would just be astounded at the generosity.

I suppose to volunteer anywhere, you need to have a connection with the organisation or charity you are working for. You need to feel they are a worthy charity that you can identify with them. Like I suppose I wouldn’t do it unless I kind of believed in the work and I do in Galway Simon.”

Marie, Former Shop Volunteer
Paul Duffy & Monica Coughlan, Galway Simon Community Volunteers
“People are so generous so there’s a feel good factor because you’re giving back. You feel nice, you wont be sitting at home in your cozy house you go out and you get a few bob on a rainy day and you’re so delighted.

Because we’re Galwegians, people know us, that has a plus. It’s such a tight community here in Galway people look out for each other and reach out to myself and Paul because they know we’re involved with the Simon.”

Paul Duffy & Monica Coughlan, Shop & Event Volunteers