INTERVIEW BY ROBERT MCNAMARA
Karen Moroney was unemployed at one stage and appreciated the support she got. She’s now doing the same for others by volunteering with Clonakilty Job-Seekers’ Centre which was set up under the LCDP. Her volunteering is something that’s important to her.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles. It’s set way back in Victorian times and it’s about a woman making her way in life.
What’s the last film you saw?
Dark Shadows with Johnny Depp.
Person you most admire?
I don’t tend to admire people as such. I may admire actions that people take, but I don’t have one particular person that I admire. I don’t hold any one person up as a role model.
The top 4 issues in Ireland today besides the economy?
The state of the country is effecting tourism. I suppose that would be matter more down this part of the country. People’s general demeanour and morale, it’s all related and it’s affecting family lives and it’s affecting people in ways we can’t even understand.
Nationally, we need more …
People need to be more open and honest. I have a huge thing about being honest where possible.
We need less …
What’s the best thing about your (LCDP-supported) project?
The fact that it’s free to use for members of the public. We’re not associated with major Government organisations, so people can access the centre in whatever way makes them comfortable. People have different needs, so they can just use it as a walk-in centre and look at the jobs and whatever is available and walk out. They can engage at their own level. If people are ready to engage at a deeper level, they can do that. People get the support that they need.
What could your (LCDP-supported) project improve on doing?
We are a very new organisation, so at the moment our focus is on becoming established, getting set up properly and then letting people know that we are there. And obviously volunteers, we always need more volunteers.
How long are you volunteering in your local community?
I’ve been volunteering for a couple of months now.
How and why did you get involved?
It’s an area that I worked in before in Kerry, I was unemployed myself years ago, I was a lone parent and at the time I needed to get into work. I needed to re-train and I was very appreciative that I got a leg up. There were people to give me advice and help me along the way and I never looked back. To be able to do that for someone else and to give back to the community, I consider myself very lucky and very fortunate. I have work at the moment and to be able to give back something in some small way is important to me.
What difference has being involved made to you?
There’s a huge sense of satisfaction to be able to do something for other people, to pass on knowledge that you have yourself that somebody else doesn’t have.
How have things changed for your community, since you became involved?
Everything is so tight and funding is being cut back the whole time across the board for any community based initiatives. Even charities are finding it difficult to raise funds.
What motivates you as a volunteer?
I suppose for me personally it’s a case of ‘What can I do?’ The opportunity came up and I thought that this is something that I can do, it’s something I can give the time to, I have the expertise and I have skills I can share with people that may help them. That is very simply the way I look at it. I just think that all along my working career, I’ve come across people that have shared knowledge with me and to be able to do that for someone else is good.