In 2005, some friends of ours in Brussels began Serve the City as a summer festival meant to empower people to bring about change in their community through a variety of service projects. As they shared with us about how much of a positive initiative it was to their city and to everyone involved in serving, we thought it sounded like something that would work well in Dublin. Through the generous sponsorships of various businesses and community groups in the summer of 2006, we gathered a group of local and international volunteers for a week of community service all across South Dublin.
Shortly thereafter, as more people took interest in what we were doing and as the coordinating team began to grow, we decided to do everything we could to make Serve the City a more regular service initiative. At present, our objective is to mobilize volunteers to serve once a month.
Serve The City Dublin has set a goal of 7,000 volunteer hours to serve within the community during 2014, serving the practical needs of the marginalised and vulnerable people. SERVE days are arranged bi-monthly, allowing volunteers the opportunity to join a project team for the day. Currently SERVE days are offered on the first and third Saturday each month.
STC Dublin has also been acknowledged for helping non-Irish nationals integrate better socially in an EU case study called GIVE.
Having built up a network connecting with Social Workers; Community Workers etc. over the years, these social service professionals refer some of their clients that also need simple practical assistance to live in their homes, to STC.
STC has a panel of volunteer Project Leaders that lead volunteer teams on each of the SERVE days. The Project Leaders brief their teams on each Serve Day before commencing and share some of the context and the story of the person to be served by the team. Practical details as well as any H&S hazards are included in the briefing too. STC place a high value in creating a meaningful volunteer experience and part of the Project Leaders role is to ensure each volunteer team member is engaged in a meaningful way.
We’ve featured as a case study in an EU funded integration project called GIVE – Grassroots Integration through the Volunteering Experience as the benefits are not just practical and environment but also help break the barriers of social isolation both for our clients and volunteers. Many South American nationals volunteer with STC.
Serve The City Dublin is an independent part of a global network of similar volunteering organisations. In Dublin we are a handful people working with organising and finding new volunteering opportunities around every second week for as many clients in need, and volunteers, as possible.
Together with other Serve the City initiatives all around the world, we embrace the following values . . .
- Hope for change
- Belief in a better world
- Compassion for people in need
- Serving together
- Openness to all