Tiglin – The Lighthouse
Allen Bobinac has been the manager of the evening No Bucks Cafe and The Lighthouse with Tiglin for the past year and during that time, he has revolutionised the service. Homeless patrons at the cafe will certainly find community and a meal, but might also be greeted by an RTE chef cooking a signature dish, or music from other cultures like bagpipes or a South African choir. One of the major additions to the cafe that Allen introduced was the weekly Friday Cinema night, popular with patrons and volunteers alike. He also makes sure that the cafe has connections to English lessons and barber services to improve the lives of the guests. Allen also extended the opening hours of the cafe until 10pm which gives the homeless community in Dublin a safe and social place to go in the evenings. The Grill & Chill Festival that Allen coordinated attracted around 500 guests
He sets a strong example for the 50 volunteers he supervises by being a welcoming presence for the disadvantaged people in the community, and gives refugee volunteers a place where they are respected and treated with the dignity of a “home.” Allen organises different fun activities to share his gratitude for the volunteers he manages.
St Francis Hospice
Barbara Kilbride manages about 250 volunteers across 45 different roles and different locations as the Volunteer Services Manager at St Francis Hospice Dublin. Even with a group that large, she is invested in each individual volunteer, remembering names and always taking the time to check in and chat. Her team meetings are popular spots for volunteers to connect and share their experiences that range from the joyful to the sorrowful. She models the care and respect for others that volunteers in a hospice facility can use with the patients.
From the volunteer application through to taking on a position, Barbara is on hand to support, guide, and manage the expectations of the staff and volunteers. Hospice and palliative care is a specialized area that requires a unique type of volunteer, and she is excellent at seeking out the positive traits and possible struggles a volunteer may have and supports them accordingly. “She is always cheerful and respectful, and we admire her dedication,” writes her nominator.
Children in Hospital Ireland
Elizabeth Morrin has managed the almost 500 volunteers serving Children in Hospital Ireland since 2017. Children in Hospital operates in 14 different hospitals nationally. Despite the workload that this position entails, you can also find Elizabeth alongside volunteers helping children and families taking a shift welcoming patients in Crumlin or giving parents a respite break in the Emergency Department. Recently, she introduced new volunteer recruitment and management systems using a new volunteer app, which allows volunteers to claim their shifts, fill out reports, and contact the volunteer team directly at any time. This has been a significant change which improves efficiency, security, and communication.
During COVID, Elizabeth organised volunteers to create care packages for children so that even if the volunteers could not have in-person fun with the patients, they still felt cared for and entertained. She also recognized the routine and joy that the volunteers get from their connection to the community so she organized zoom calls for volunteers to connect while isolated.
Volunteers at CIH speak of Elizabeth glowingly saying “you feel you are not just a number, the way she does it is so personal.” From Christmas gatherings to the National Appreciation Day for volunteers, she is always quick to thank volunteers and recognize that the organization would not exist and the families would not be supported without the amazing commitment of each individual volunteer.