Meet Ray, one of our Shop Volunteers
Ray is a people person, instantly likeable, chatty and interested in your stories and equally happy to share a few of his own.
A proud family man and former Garda Superintendent, Ray started volunteering with SVP after early retirement in January 2016. He now works three days a week in the Vincent’s Shop on Sean MacDermott Street Dublin, and has never looked back.
Ray puts his warmth and good humour to work every time he volunteers to achieve one of his retirement goals – “to use this time to give something back
.” And he claims he’s getting it all and more back in return, working with fun people he admires and seeing the effects of his work.
"Staff and volunteers have created a positive culture here where everyone is welcome and treated with respect.
According to Ray, volunteering is busy and interesting because it’s constantly changing where “no two days are ever the same
”. Customers and stock change everyday and he enjoys seeing donations coming, organising and preparing stock and helping customers.
On the shop floor Ray has the opportunity to meet and chat with new people everyday and help them with whatever they need. Ray recalls one time a homeless man, who with help from another charity, had secured a job interview came to the Vincent’s shop looking for interview clothes. Ray helped him find the right outfit. The next day the man called into the shop to he had got the job and he wanted to say thank you to everyone. “That was a great day,
” Ray remembers.
“Being a volunteer gives me a great sense of personal satisfaction, because I can see the impact my work has on people’s lives everyday. When you retire there’s only so many times you can paint the kitchen. To be of service helps you maintain respect and dignity, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to do something that can make a difference.