12 Aug 2022

Humans of Longford: Terri Doherty and her passion for volunteering

Picture: Tiernan Dolan

Picture: Tiernan Dolan

On the eve of the 2019 Abbott Longford Marathon, the Humans of Longford caught up with Longford Volunteer Centre Coordinator Terri Doherty who revealed that she is very passionate about volunteering, not only is it her day job, it is also her leisure. 

I'm living in Drumlish for the past 9 years. The village has grown a lot in recent years but it still retains a lovely, friendly village vibe.

“It has a marvellous community spirit with great facilities.The Tidy Towns group are only magnificent.

“Recently we had the Marquee in Drumlish Music Festival.That created a real buzz about the village there were about 1,800 present to see and hear local band Brave Giant and you know next morning there wasn't a sign of a bit of litter to be seen. The place was spotless. Full credit to all the hard workers.”

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Terri is very proud of her Donegal roots.

“I’m originally from Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. Drumlish has Declan Nerney but Ballyshannon boasts of Rory Gallagher and of course the Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan.

“After I was made redundant, I got a job with the Longford Traveller Movement. I was there a year when I was employed by the Volunteer Centre. We're part of Longford Community Resources clg, we're based in Templemichael, near Fenelon Engineering.

“So, I'm coordinator with the Volunteer Centre which means we get volunteers for any organisation which needs volunteers, not for profit organisations, of course.

“We also get excellent support from Richmond Court. Many of those seeking asylum are constantly volunteering to help the community and many continue the work after being granted asylum

“I'm very passionate about volunteering. It's my day job but also my leisure.

“At the moment, here in the Longford Arms Hotel, we're involved with tomorrow's Longford Marathon

“It's a massive event for Longford. There will be well over 1,000 taking part and that means hundreds of volunteers helping out.This is its 18th year and it just seems to grow and get better and better and friendlier but without the volunteers and of course the sponsors it simply wouldn't happen.

“Well, the volunteers are here bright and early on a Saturday morning preparing the generous goodie bags. Then there's registration, the pasta party and on Sunday the massive event itself and finally the refreshments post marathon

“You can see yourself, we have families volunteering. As a child myself, we were always encouraged to help others. I've tried to carry that on through my own life, with my own children and grandchildren.”

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Terri believes a way needs to be found to encourage more young people become involved in volunteering.

“What really lifts my heart is seeing people blossom as they get more involved in their communities. Longford has a great, long tradition of volunteering. Longford people are very generous with their time, energy and money. Personally, I find that so humbling.

“But I think there's an over dependence on older volunteers. We have to find a way to get younger people involved.

“You know, we're a generous nation, a generous people and Longford is at its very pinnacle. We shouldn't be shy about saying it either but for whatever reason Longford doesn't get the positive media coverage it deserves.

“So if there's any not for profit organisation out there looking for volunteers we're here to help.

“Can I get back to work now? To do what I'm here for. I like to help with the running of the marathon but I'd never run it."

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