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  • 3 mins read time
  • Published: 22nd May 2024
  • Blog by Kate Brayden

Volunteers Week 2024: Three of our volunteers share the spotlight

Oxfam Ireland has no shortage of incredible people helping out in our 47 busy stores across the island. We have over 1,000 volunteers eager to meet the locals.


Volunteers Week (20-26 May) was created as an annual event for charities, voluntary groups, social organisations and volunteers to come together to recognise the incredible impact that their work has in communities around Ireland. 

Not only is volunteering hugely fulfilling, but The National Library of Medicine’s research has shown that the activity offers benefits for both our physical and mental health. Finding a sense of purpose at any age is crucial, but helping out in your community can also garner a boost in self-confidence for many who previously felt disconnected in their personal lives. 

John Jordan, Oxfam Wexford 

John recently secured the Martin Kenny Volunteer of the Year award. 

The whole experience came about four years ago, after my wife died. I was in the nursing home with her every day for three years. When she passed away, I had no clue what to do with my time. I was passing the Oxfam shop in Wexford one day and I saw a sign in the window looking for volunteers. I didn’t think I had a chance because I was 72 years old. I get so much out of volunteering, it’s unbelievable."

John Jordan
"It’s a hard thing to explain. When my wife passed away, it was like half of me was gone. Since I joined Oxfam Wexford, that half of me is back. It’s given me more than I ever could have thought possible - a second chance.” 

Rose Carney, Oxfam Malahide 

Rose recently retired from Oxfam volunteering after years of service.  

"I didn’t know how to fill my time when I retired from work, and my family were all raised. A friend of mine inspired me to pursue volunteering placement after her great experience. I wanted to give something back, rather than feeling aimless."  

Rose Carney
"Oxfam have always contributed to the world in a positive way, and I knew it was the right space for me. The people I worked with were always so lovely and accommodating. You got to know customers on first-name terms, and developed friendships with shoppers and staff. I will always have friends in Oxfam.”  

Denise McEvoy, Oxfam Dun Laoghaire 

Born in England, Denise studied science initially in London before relocating to Dublin with her Irish husband. She worked in the Royal College of Surgeons and DIT before becoming a music teacher. She found a home at Oxfam after retirement. 

Denise McEvoy, Oxfam Dun Laoghaire
"A friend of mine told me that Oxfam was a great place to work, and asked me to come along. Dun Laoghaire kindly took me in, and I’ve been here ever since. My favourite thing about volunteering is the people. We all mix together like a family. My granddaughter is 12 and loves visiting the shop. She has the workings of the till! I hope we can help people in other places who aren’t so well off to have a good life.”