About Serve the City

Serve the City seeks to mobilise volunteers to serve the practical needs

of marginalised and vulnerable persons.

STC focuses on both volunteers and those whom we serve like the elderly; single parents; persons with a chronic illness, mental or physical challenges; refugees and asylum seekers (especially those living in the Direct Provision system) and anyone “left behind” or isolated in the community.

We seek to SERVECARETRANSFORM within the lives of both those who serve and those whom we serve.

For more please download/see this PDF.


In 2005, Serve the City began in Brussels as a single week of service, initiated by a Christian faith community called The Well (www.thewell.be). Now Serve the City is active or starting in 65 cities around the world (www.servethecity.net).

STC Ireland is 100% volunteer-led, so everything we do is through volunteer teams and leaders. We engage volunteers from a range of backgrounds with a variety of valuable skills and experiences – about 50% of our volunteer base are non-Irish nationals. Groups of volunteers from corporate/business teams, clubs, churches, and other organisations also serve with us regularly.

We create “easy-entry” volunteering opportunities where you can serve as a once-off, as well as regular weekly/monthly opportunities. By volunteering with STC, you will make a difference in the community and can learn new skills and experiences to add to your CV and help make you a better person. If interested, we offer progress opportunities like team leadership and volunteer management. Volunteering is good for volunteers – see this Volunteer Ireland report published in 2017.

Our vision is mobilising volunteers serving marginalised and vulnerable persons. Currently we focus on 4 project types, aimed at supporting persons in practical ways while providing social inclusion. These 4 project types are:

  1. Practical/DIY type projects helping persons often without any support network, like the elderly, those living with a chronic illness, single parents, persons moving into new accommodation and at risk of homelessness
  2. Refugees & Asylum Seekers who may have recently arrived in Ireland with little or no cultural context or integration opportunities
  3. Befriending persons with a reduced capacity to care for themselves
  4. Other includes partnering with organisations with a social and community development mission that need volunteers in the delivery of their mission

STC strives to be an excellent volunteer-involving organisation while also delivering a welcomed social service and community development. Both are important to us, and we often use an illustration of both wings of an airplane or both wheels of a bicycle to describe how both aspects are core to who we are and what we do.

Some people volunteering with STC come to “give back” but later realise that they “got more out of serving than the person they were serving”.  Occasionally, STC hosts visiting volunteer teams from outside Ireland, who regularly give feedback on the unique cultural experience and the practical side of volunteering.

We believe in the power of asset-based community development, an approach to sustainable development that uses communities’ strengths and potential for positive change. This process involves “assessing the resources, skills, and experience available in a community; organising the community around issues that move its members into action; and then determining and taking appropriate action. This method uses the community’s own assets and resources as the bases for development; it empowers the people of the community by encouraging them to utilise what they already possess” (Wikipedia). For more information, see DePaul University’s resources on this topic.

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