A few years ago good friends of ours asked us to join them as their guests for the annual RMHC Ball held in the Four Seasons Hotel. We of course were delighted to accept. I had no idea what the RMHC Ball was in aid of. I soon found out.
A few years after this I started to work as a volunteer in the house and it happened quite by accident. We were away in Glasson on a fund raiser for the RMHC house; this is an annual cycle that is around Lough Ree. My husband was partaking in the cycle and as I was with him I was asked to help out at one of stations along the route, where we handed out goodies and drinks and a bit of moral support when it was needed! We had such a laugh that day, there was a wonderful feeling of purposefulness and happiness in doing something so worthwhile and so when one of the girls asked would I consider becoming a volunteer I just instantly said ‘yes’.
So, on a Thursday, as that is now my day, I and another volunteer go to the house and basically help out where needed. There is nothing glamorous about this, it’s really a bit of scrubbing, but we always have great chats (cups of tea) with the other helpers and we get to meet all sorts of people, all with their stories. Sometimes it is a sad place but mostly it is a happy, caring, supportive space where all the staff and volunteers get on with the job in hand – looking after the families whose children are ill.
As I drive home after a Thursday in the house, I always say a little prayer of thanks, thanks because I do have four fabulous children who mean the world to me and so I know and understand that their health and well being is all that really matters.
Volunteer since 2008