David began volunteering in 2018 in order to have something positive and productive to do while recovering from addiction. Louth Volunteer Centre helped David to start volunteering.

“I was in early recovery. I wanted to see how the community worked and connect with people. I didn’t want to leave recovery and go back to old ways.

“I was worried the Volunteer Centre wouldn’t be able to help me due to my previous criminal record. I didn’t know there would be stuff I would be able to volunteer with and stuff that I would be good at. I was expecting another red flag and that I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I was able to do it. Because of my criminal record, I can’t apply for some roles, but Louth Volunteer Centre helps me find roles that are suitable and are always happy to support me.

“From walking into the Louth Volunteer Centres office in 2018 to where I am now… I didn’t realise I would get as much from volunteering as I did. I have gotten to meet so many people and have new circles of people around me.

“I have learned a lot of social skills, particularly how to talk to people. I was very delicate when I came into recovery. I needed to learn how to do this and how things worked.

“I have been able to bring my nephew volunteering with me and, for me, that is powerful. I am getting to share this with him and show him how the community works. I didn’t have that as a kid, so it’s brilliant to be able to share it with him.

“Volunteering is a great way to find out who you are, what you like, and to make ties with your community. It also teaches you to be grateful for what we have in our community. Volunteering is a real eye opener to see how much work is actually done in the community. You always get far more back from volunteering than what you give.”

With many years of addiction recovery behind him, David has travelled around the country sharing his story and has completed Level 5 Community Addiction Studies. He says, “I want to share my story and attract other people to recovery.”

This National Volunteering Week, we’re celebrating the kindness, compassion, and generosity of volunteers like David. 

Thank you to David for sharing his Volunteer Story. Please email [email protected] if you’d like to share yours!

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