Today I want to talk about interests and activities.
I believe that a person with interests is an interesting person. Following interests is a good way of developing your skills, meeting a variety of people and making new friends.
I know that being on Social Welfare doesn’t leave a lot of money over to invest in interests but there are a number of things you can do.
- You can belong to a self-help group (Grow: www.grow.ie, Aware: www.aware.ie, Phrenz: www.shineonline.ie and Our Supports and Services/Support Groups (Recovery: www.recovery-inc-ireland.ie)
- You can volunteer your services for a variety of activities (www.volunteer.ie, www.volunteerdlr.ie)
- You can become a tourist in your own city – museums and art galleries, for example, which often have free entry
- You can help out in your local church or community
- You can befriend a local old person (www.makingconnections.ie)
- You can access the internet in the local library
- If you’re fond of reading, again, the library; and most libraries run a book club once a month so that reading doesn’t have to be a solitary experience
- Some libraries have language and/or music tuition
- Some libraries host free spoken language exchanges which would give you a chance to practice your Irish, or French, or other
- You can join a music group – including putting a group of your own together, or taking part in a pub session, for example
- You can join a creative writing group; they’re often free of charge
- You can take physical activity – including joining a walking or hill-walking club, or hostelling with An Oige or other organisations for a budget holiday (www.anoige.ie, www.theramblers.ie)
- You can take part in your favourite sport – swimming or tennis or even snooker or darts, for example. Aqua Aerobics can be good fun and helps to keep you in shape
- You can attend an evening class (the VEC do a reduction for unwaged students)
- You can go to concerts, or cinema, once in a while. The National Concert Hall in Dublin has a concession rate for unwaged (tickets usually from €15-25) and some cinemas have reduced ticket prices before 6pm on weekdays. There’s a free concert at midday on Sundays in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Parnell Square.
I’m sure that you could add to this list, or make one of your own.