Meet Thomas Cox from Galway.
I’ve been a volunteer with the Irish Red Cross since I was a youngster, back in 1980. Friends I made on my first day are still close friends today and new members become friends too, very quickly. I’m lucky that my two youngest children are current all Ireland Irish Red Cross Cadet Champions so it’s a bit of a family affair at present.
As a volunteer I take part in first aid duties. Locally, we would carry out various duties, giving first aid and ambulance cover to rallies, football matches, charity runs and the like. We meet weekly to discuss duties and recertify. As much as possible I try to complete at least one duty every fortnight.
We also provide a hospice transfer service, transferring patients between the hospice and their homes. This is a service I get a lot of satisfaction from. My own father died from cancer and we were able to care for him at home but I know we were very lucky for this to happen with the homecare team, others are not so lucky.
Outside of the Red Cross, I’m a Company Director of a software company and also a retired part-time fire fighter. I also work with the local residents association, football club and golf society. I really enjoy volunteering and helping others.
The most rewarding part of volunteering is the genuine thanks you get from helping someone. No matter if it’s just being polite, comforting or actually treating them for an injury or some traumatic experience they may have suffered.
In Galway, the Irish Red Cross is held in high esteem. We have always received the support of our community and continue to do so. We are very proud to wear the Irish Red Cross uniform.
Photographs: Krystian Matchek, Irish Red Cross