1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Faisal Khandoker, originally from Bangladesh, South Asia. Currently, I am residing at the Reception Centre in Richmond Court, Longford Town since 2015. I was raised in an environment where we value love, peace, and charity, and accordingly, my family is committed to a voluntary organisation which provides education for poor children as part of a broader goal to develop our local community.
Before arriving in Longford I studied Accountancy in BPP University UK. Since I have arrive in Irealnd I have also completed courses in:Digital Photography - QQI Component Level 3 - LWETB, Start your Own Business 2018 - Local Enterprise Office Longford and I am a Door Security with Guarding Skills LWETB
2. What attracted you to volunteering?
I met Terri Doherty (the Co-ordinator at the Longford Volunteer Centre), who encouraged me to think about volunteering. Given my previous background in volunteering, I thought this would be a good step to take here in Longford as I strongly believe in giving back and helping the community.
3. What does volunteering mean to you?
Humans are by nature, social animals, and through volunteering I have been afforded the opportunity to understand the value of life, the importance of society, meet new people in the community, and make new friends form a social circle. Volunteering also has given me a platform which provides the opportunity to learn new information and skills, and build confidence from social interactions within the community
4. Tell me about your current role or about past roles that you have undertaken?
I began volunteering at the Longford Volunteer Centre in 2016. Most of the roles that I have undertaken are ‘once off’ roles which means I have had the opportunity to volunteer with a wide range of organisations in a variety of roles. I have been a steward, environmental worker, fundraiser, and registration assistant. Before Christmas I volunteered as a Hospitality Volunteer with Longford Volunteer Centre at their 10th Birthday event, which took place on International Volunteer Day. Other roles and organisations that I have volunteered with include:
Fundraiser for Irish Heart Foundation
Environmental Volunteer with Longford Tidy Towns
Fundraiser for Hungry House Outside
Fundraiser for Co. Longford Youth Service
Volunteer Steward at St. Patrick's Day Parade
Fundraiser for Longford Friends of Children of Chernobyl
Event Volunteer at Irish Heart Foundation Stroke Support Unit Longford Open Day
Walking Leader with Longford Sports Partnership
Steward at the turning on of the Christmas Lights in 2016 , 2017 and 2018
· Steward at St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017 and 2018
· Steward at Midlands Simon Community Sleep Out 2017
· Steward at Hype Festival 2017
· Steward at Crúthu Arts Festival 2017 and 2018
· Steward at the Longford Marathon 2017 and 2018
· Steward at Taste of the Lakelands Food Festival 2017
· Steward at the Dead of Night Festival 2017 and 2018
· Environmental worker with Longford Tidy Towns
· Volunteer Gardener with Springlawn RCDG
· Hospitality Volunteer at International Volunteer Day 5 December 2017
· Registration assistant with Longford Sports Partnership Operation Transformation Walk 2017 and 2018
Schools Sports Day assistant 2018
I have also fundraised on behalf of Longford Tidy Towns, Longford Friends of children of Chernobyl, CASA Longford, County Longford Youth Service and SPIN Longford.
5. How has volunteering impacted on your mental health/well-being/employability etc?
I have enjoyed all the roles that I have taken on and I believe volunteering is a way of spreading love and peace to society. It helps me to relax my mind and recharge my mental strength to face whatever challenges may arise. I believe being mentally healthy prepares you to engage in physical activities and knowing that I am giving back enhances my sense of well-being.
Volunteering is a great source of training and development; which helps me learn about responsibility, value of time, gender equality and so on. As a migrant, volunteering has played an important role in my integration into society. By volunteering at different events and with different organisations, I believe I am making a positive and valuable contribution to Irish society.
Since 2016 Faisal has spent his free time studying. He has received QQI awards in the following:
Level 3 Digital Photography
Level 4 Door Security Procedures
Level 4 Guarding Skills
Level 5 Occupational First Aid