Our society is full of some of the friendliest, chattiest and kindest people on campus (and I’m not biased…) The ethos of Trinity VDP is all about helping those around us, enabling social justice, and creating a sense of community and togetherness. As the largest student charity in Ireland, our members have a deep passion for volunteering and for engaging with the community in which we live and study. As someone who is not from Dublin, joining VDP when I moved here really helped me to settle into college and to make friends, whilst also showing me that I could make a difference in the city that I was living in, and that change can start on a small scale, but have a widespread impact.
With Trinity being based in the heart of Dublin, we have the opportunity to work with service users of all ages and from all walks of life across the city - from children, to the elderly, to adults with additional support needs, to the homeless community. With over 40 activities a week, you’re bound to find something to get involved with!
Due to the pandemic, a lot of our events and activities had to move online, but we are hoping to get back to in-person activities as soon as possible, and are continuing to make the most of our Zoom activities, such as online Volunteer Tea Time, our online Social Justice Book Club, Skype Yoga with our adults with additional support needs, and Friday Games Night, to name but a few. We also were able to continue providing some services in person, like our Food Bank, and our Street Outreach programme, where we provide services to the homeless community of inner city Dublin.
In addition to these hand-on activities, we also host a wide range of social and fundraising events every year, including weekends away. These are so much fun (and often, a bit wacky) and really help all of our volunteers to get to know each other and form friendships that go beyond the shared volunteering experience.
When I first joined the society, an older member told me that it was a privilege to volunteer, and that is a message that has really stuck with me ever since. And this is true in two ways; firstly, in the sense that it’s a privilege to be able to give back to the community that you’re living in, and to be able to make even a small difference in the everyday life of a service user, to provide a little bit of extra support, whether that’s through a kick-about in a school yard, or a chat over a cuppa. Secondly, and selfishly, it's a privilege to be involved in something that is so fun and so rewarding, and to be able to do it with like-minded and lighthearted people around you - I genuinely believe that the volunteers I have worked with in VDP have made me a much better person!
Joining VDP was one of the best things I could ever have done in college - it has introduced me to so many different people with different stories and lives, and has given me the opportunity to be involved in so many interesting and, frankly, hilarious, events and experiences.
If you have any questions or queries at all about the activities or events we run, our plans for this year, or how to get involved, feel free to contact any of us! We promise you won’t regret it, and we’d absolutely love to have you.
- Niamh Carey, Trinity VDP President 2021/22