Wanted: Galwegians with experience and knowledge in the areas of architecture, engineering, surveying, health and safety, social work/social care.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP ) is well known for its home visitation service and support for people struggling with limited income, but it is also an approved housing body with several social housing units in Galway city.
Now the well-known charity is looking for volunteers with a variety of skills to help with this programme. Each social housing scheme provided by the society is both managed and serviced at a local level by SVP volunteers.
Paula Kenny, SVP national manager for social housing, says the work is different from other volunteering help.
"We are seeking volunteers from the local community to help us continue the great work that is involved in our social housing scheme. This work is very different from SVP home visitation volunteer work and requires people with a certain skillset to embrace and support the housing work."
Volunteers are required to give approximately three hours of their time a week, with experience in architecture, engineering, surveying, health and safety, and social work/social care "particularly beneficial".
The society has 22 units of social housing projects within the city which are designed for people to live independently and are managed with the support of SVP volunteers. Madeira Court, Mill St, consists of 18 one-bed apartments with a communal laundry room and garden area.
Paula Kenny says the residents are supported by family and/or key workers.
These housing units are for people over 55 years of age and registered with the Galway City Council housing list. Apartments are for single occupancy, and the SVP is responsible for the upkeep of the apartments.
The site at Madeira Court was acquired by the Society in 1984 The units were extensively upgraded in 2011 with the support of the Maureen O’Connell fund. The Society also has four apartments at Rendu Court which were built in 1996 as part of the re-development of Merchant’s Road. Originally they were intended for returning immigrants, but are now utilised to support older people in need of long-term housing.
Nationally SVP manages up to 1000 properties, making them a significant contributor in the social housing sector, and each scheme provided by the society is managed and serviced at a local level by dedicated SVP volunteers.
To make initial enquiries about the volunteer positions, email Paula Kenny, St Vincent de Paul, National Manager for Social Housing; [email protected]. A Zoom meeting will be set up to complete the process of becoming a volunteer, which is subject to the provision of application, Garda vetting and references.
St Vincent de Paul is an Approved Housing Body under the Approved Housing Body Regulatory Authority and meets its obligations as a social housing landlord.