Hi, my name is Darryl Coen and I am a volunteer with the Irish Red Cross. I live with my wife Angie and two girls Abigail and Philippa in Slane, Co. Meath.

I have volunteered for 21 years now for the Irish Red Cross and I am looking forward to a lot more. My interaction with the Irish Red Cross started out in secondary school while I was completing my Gaisce bronze award and I wanted to complete a first aid course as one of the skills for the award, I was directed to the local Irish Red Cross branch/unit in Slane. The members there, trained me in basic first  aid and I got a liking to this ability to save lives. I ended up joining the local branch and they brought me up through all the levels of first aid to instructor. It was then I started to realise that this was more than just about first aid. It is about a local group in the local community that is part of a large National Society, which in turn is part of a worldwide Humanitarian Organisation with volunteers of over 100 million.

The possibilities are endless within the Irish Red Cross. I have made lifelong friends through the Irish Red Cross both here inIrelandand worldwide. I have been lucky enough to be a member of the Irish Red Cross Youth Working Group and have enjoyed some of the most exhilarating days on Youth Fun Days to the most thought provoking days on Anti-racism awareness sessions. The Irish Red Cross has taught me to be a more confident person in my ability to speak in front of groups and meetings, it has taught me to be a good planner and people motivator.

At the moment I am volunteering as the Regional Director of Units for Dublin Mid Leinster. This means that I, along with the Area Directors of South County Dublin, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Wicklow, Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford ensure that we have an efficient service in place to service all our clients’ needs, from providing First Aid cover locally, through to being able to respond to requests from the HSE for assistance during major incidents (such as the cold winter two years ago).

The Red Cross movement through its seven principles Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality,Independence, Voluntary Service, Universality and Unity, are a great signpost for me as an individual to be a better person in our society.