herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

I gave up pensions job to lend a hand

Richie Stafford gave up his job in the financial services sector to volunteer for the homeless community.

"I had been procrastinating for a while. To be honest I had quite a decent number, I was involved in pensions. But I was always interested in doing something better."

Richie saved up in order to dedicate himself fully to the role and works 35 hours a week at the Harcourt Street centre. "My parents were grand about it," he said.

"I think my family and friends were shocked with the change but I think it's much better to be doing work that's dealing with people."



HEALTHY

Richie (26), originally from Wexford, noticed that a lot of men in the Simon Community shelter were at a loose end during the day.

"They spent a lot of time sitting around, there wasn't a lot of stuff for the guys to do -- so I set up the Homeless Soccer League," he said. "They get to have a few games at the weekend and can even be trained up as a coach."

The Simon Community said that this provided a social outlet for clients which is free of drink and drug abuse but it also promotes healthy living. "Every day he strives to get the clients more involved in the service that we offer and is a positive and encouraging influence on everyone he meets," a representative for the Simon Community said.

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