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Michael Gracey

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Michael Gracey

What do you help with and how often?

I visit my local Praxis scheme every Wednesday night to mainly just hang around with service users playing games, watching movies and having a chat.

How long have you volunteered with Praxis Care?

I’ve been volunteering since the start of October 2022 so I’d be approaching 8 months at the moment.

Why did you offer to help?

Praxis Care supported my Mum before she passed away last year. She got so much from the friendship and support given to her by the Praxis staff that cared for her. I felt like if I could help Praxis do for somebody else what they did for my Mum then it’d definitely be something worth doing.

What do you enjoy most?

I’ve found that the best thing about volunteering is the friendships with service users I have made. I spend a lot of time with one service user in particular and the thing I enjoy the most is pretty simple. I get to spend time with them.

Outside of volunteering, what do you do?

Outside of volunteering I work as a software engineer. I’m quite into running and completed the Dublin Marathon a couple of years ago. I’ve switched to doing only Half Marathons since then as I realised that even though I like running, I don’t like it enough to put myself through the ordeal of running a full one again! I’m also a member of my local tennis club.

Do you or have you done other volunteering?

I’d never volunteered before Praxis Care but since then I’ve did a bit of other volunteering with them in addition to my regular Wednesday nights. I was able to help organise a couple of volunteering days with my work. On both occasions we got a team out to help with some gardening at a Praxis scheme near the office.

Would you recommend volunteering to others?

Absolutely. I genuinely look forward to my Praxis visits and never fail to have a good time there. I get so much enjoyment and fulfilment from volunteering but on the flip side, so do the service users. I’m always greeted with a smile and quite often they’ve been looking forward to me coming. You’d be amazed how something so easy to do like sitting with someone or playing a game can have such a positive impact on somebody else.

Favourite book or film or music?

I’m obsessed with Marvel and could talk for hours about the Marvel films but I’d feel like I was cheating if I gave that as my answer considering there’s over 30 of them at this point. My single all-time favourite movie though is Rat Race. It’s got an incredible ensemble cast and is about a group of strangers who are each given a key to a locker hundreds of miles away containing millions of dollars. The first one there gets to keep it. It’s a wacky comedy where each of the contestants’ path to the money is more ludicrous than the last and I love every second of it.

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