This National Volunteering Week, we’re celebrating the contributions volunteers make in our communities. Eddie Smyth from Greystones Cancer Support, tells us his story.
Eddie Smyth has been volunteering for about five years driving cancer patients to their appointments with both Greystones Cancer Support and Wicklow Cancer Support. He is also a board member of Wicklow Volunteer Centre. After Eddie’s wife sadly passed away in 2015, he decided to try volunteering as a way to get back and do something. Together, he and his wife had previously considered volunteering with their local cancer support group but had just never gotten around to applying and he decided to take on the role in her memory.
He really enjoys volunteering because it gets him out and about and in his driving role, he gets the opportunity to meet lots of different people, learning about their lives and stories. It’s also great to know that he can be of assistance and help people who really rely on this service.
When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Eddie had to stop his driving role as advised by the HSE as he is over 70 and needed to take extra precautions. He felt lucky that he could continue volunteering in his board role as meetings were held online and that he has a great family support system around him with three children and five grandchildren.
Although Eddie had great support during this time, he really felt for those patients who relied on the service to get to their appointments. Not having the service available in their community would mean great difficulty and incredible expense for people who were going through such a difficult time.
Thankfully, Eddie was able to resume his driving role with Greystones Cancer Support in December 2021 and is delighted to be back. He feels he gets so much more out of it than he gives and it’s a great feeling to be able to provide such a needed service and spend time chatting with the people he drives.
Thank you to Eddie for sharing his Volunteer Story. Please DM us or email [email protected] if you’d like to share yours! #MyVolunteerStory #CelebrateVolunteers #NVW2022