Volunteers' Week 2022: Spotlight on volunteer Matthew in Northern Ireland

Matthew, AbilityNet volunteerContinuing our coverage this Volunteers' Week (1-7 June 2022) of our superb, generous IT Support at Home volunteers, we'd like to introduce you to one of our fantastic and long-serving tech volunteers, Matthew.

Matthew has been helping to deliver technology support to the older and disabled in Northern Ireland since 2014!

Matthew graduated from the Ulster University in Computing Technologies in 2017 and is currently working as a Software Engineer.

 We asked Matthew what he loves about volunteering with AbilityNet and why YOU might like to become a volunteer too:

What do you love about volunteering with AbilityNet?

Volunteers' Week logo with star emblem containing 1-7 June text"Volunteering at AbilityNet is really gratifying and impactful, you meet some lovely and genuine people who are a pleasure to support. lt is a great feeling to have when you know your help really makes a significant impact on someone, even if it is only very basic IT support. A truly rewarding experience."

AbilityNet's volunteers use their IT skills to help in all sorts of ways - from showing clients how to shop online, to assisting with special hardware and software adaptations that can meet a disabled person's specific needs.

Matthew says: "The expense of hardware and software for accessibility is often extortionate, which makes our service even more valuable as we have a range of experience in this area, accessible to those who really need it - for free. For example, one of my repeat clients relies heavily on accessibility hardware/software due to his Parkinson’s condition, in which coordination worsens often and he is unable to perform some tasks," he says.

"We troubleshoot most things together in the aim to make his setup work for him in the best possible way with the tools available, such as the use of eye tracking and mouse keys," continues Matthew.

What have you learned during your time volunteering with AbilityNet?

"I have found that I have helped a lot of people in a lot of different ways over the years. From debugging and fixing software or hardware issues, to general IT support, to having a chat after a tough day or even a bit of DIY! Above everything I’ve learnt that people are really appreciative, always making sure I have a cup of tea in hand at the very least!"

"I love volunteering for AbilityNet and it's always been great for a challenge, getting up to speed on something new with every visit," says Matthew.

How do you fit volunteering into your working schedule?

"There is so much flexibility and room to work around my daily schedule," Matthew says.

Do you have any message to share with others about volunteering?

"One thing I do ask to you is to help us spread the word to friends and family so that we can help as many people as we can who really need it, or hey, why not even go one more and join us?"

Would you like to volunteer for AbilityNet?

We're always on the look out for volunteers so if you'd like to get involved like Matthew, please get in contact:

Find out more about volunteering
We look forward to hearing from you!

How AbilityNet can help

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.