The St Vincent de Paul branch in Portlaoise has asked for new volunteers to join them in their work to battle poverty in the town.
The number of volunteers in the group has fallen as some retired and others passed away.
It has meant that a smaller group is trying to cope with a growing population in Portlaoise that is also facing new levels of poverty.
“They say there is a recovery but the kind of poverty we are seeing is unbelievable. Having enough volunteers makes a huge difference. And their work makes a huge difference to people’s lives,” said vice chairman Billy Fitzpatrick.
He is asking in particular for people aged in their 20’s and upwards, who are willing and able to meet the community with a kind, common sense approach, with confidentiality always uppermost.
“We send teams of two to meet people in their homes, talk with them and listen to them. Then we hold a group conference every Monday night, to discuss how we can help them. So it is important to have enough volunteers as we don’t send anyone to people they know, to maintain that confidentiality,” he said.
Their busy shop beside the church on the Dublin road also needs volunteers.
“You can offer a few hours or make a longer commitment, Saturdays in particular are hard to fill. We have a great team there led by the shop manager Phil, but we always need more,” said Mr Fitzpatrick.
All volunteers will undergo Garda vetting and will be trained.
To enquire about volunteering, call 087 7655793, or email firstname.lastname@example.org