Habitat for Humanity volunteers thanked

Shauna Loughran

Reporter:

Shauna Loughran

VOLUNTEERS Pedro Salas and Alejandro Gonclaves – along with Habitat for Humanity Manger Isobel Kerr - recently met with Mid and East Antrim Mayor Councillor William McCaughey at a mayoral reception at The Braid, Ballymena, to acknowledge their dedicated volunteer effort and hard work.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organisation that helps families build and improve places to call home. They believe affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities.

Pedro, who is from Malaga, and Alejandro, who is from Tenerife, took up the opportunity to work with this local charity to gain work experience in customer service, finance and charity operations.

Their visit to our borough has been facilitated through the European Solidarity Corps Programme.

Taking a break from their previous career paths in electrical engineering and IT, both Pedro and Alejandro have been working with the local charity since January 2021, working forty hours each in the local ReStore shop.

Speaking about their experience being away from home and working in a new environment, Pedro and Alejandro said: “Knowing that every time we volunteer, we are making positive impacts in the local community has been so rewarding. Thank you to Habitat and to the people of Ballymena for welcoming us and allowing us the opportunity to serve vulnerable families here in Northern Ireland.”

ReStore Manager Isobel Kerr added: “Alejandro and Pedro came to ReStore Ballymena through the European Solidarity Corps. The programme has been immensely positive for Habitat, and for the communities we serve through our Habitat ReStores.

Both Alejandro and Pedro have become a huge part of both ReStore and the community in Ballymena. We are so thankful for the hard work and dedication they have brought to their time volunteering and wish them all the best for the future.”

Not only have they been volunteering with the charity, they have also supported a local project in the borough by planting over 300 trees through the local ‘Friends of ECOS’ group, contributing to Council’s zero-carbon emission pathway and increasing the biodiversity of the area. Pedro also has another talent, having been actively involved in youth football in Ballykeel.

Mayor, Councillor William McCaughey, said: “It has been a real pleasure to meet Pedro and Alejandro, to hear their stories and how they’ve come to volunteer in Ballymena. It was interesting to hear more about the European Solidarity Corps Programme and how this helps people to gain valuable work experience and to engage in new cultures.”

Habitat for Humanity continue to provide low cost furniture and DIY products out of their Ballymena Restore shop. The money generated from these sales goes into supporting both local and foreign projects, helping those in need to build a secure and safe home.

To find out more about Habitat for Humanity: https://www.habitat.org/

Council continues to support the dedicated work Habitat for Humanity delivers through provision of furniture and DIY items from our local Household Recycling Centres.

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