Clare extols the joys of volunteering

Newtownabbey volunteer Clare McVeigh.
Newtownabbey volunteer Clare McVeigh.

THE Times has caught up with a dedicated local volunteer as part of Volunteer Now’s celebration of Volunteers’ Week.

Clare McVeigh, who is aged 80 and from Newtownabbey, has been volunteering for many decades.

She worked with SPRED - Religious Development for People with Special Needs Newtownabbey for 27 years; was a founder member of Helm, the largest social housing association in Northern Ireland, volunteering with that organisation for 25 years, before becoming involved in the Newtownabbey Community Befriending Scheme.

Clare said “meeting and communicating with people from all different walks of life” and “making a difference in the local community” is what drives her to give time and energy to volunteering.

“I visit a beautiful lady in her 80s who is housebound. I just can’t imagine what it must be like to be sitting there hour after hour after hour.

“I know she enjoys our time together. I certainly do, as sometimes we lose track of time. You’d be surprised what two old ladies get to talk about!” said Clare who has been with the Newtownabbey Community Befriending Scheme for the past three years.

“As for recommending this activity to others - all I can say is, most definitely - Volunteer Now!”

Inspiring and Celebrating volunteers is the theme of this year’s Volunteers’ Week which runs from June 1 to 7. If you would like to find out more about local volunteering opportunities, contact Volunteer Now on Tel: 028 9446 6644 or visit the website

Read the full story in this week’s Times...