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Reflecting on National Volunteering Week 2017 (22nd May 2017)

National Volunteering Week 2017 has come and gone and now is the perfect time to reflect not just on the week but on volunteering in general.

All throughout the week, Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services across the country held open days, coffee mornings and information stands. Volunteers and organisations visited and learned how they could get involved in their local community.

While these were fantastic events, the truth is that every day is an open day in a Volunteer Centre. If you’re looking to volunteer or you’re looking for volunteers, you can pick up the phone and talk to your local centre. You can make an appointment to meet with them or if you prefer you can check out their websites. Volunteer Centres are there every day to support volunteering in their community – no obligation, just information!

Together as a network, we also launched a new report on the impact of volunteering on the health and well-being of volunteers. We were...

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Allie Sheehan: Young Community Leader (19th May 2017)

Allie Sheehan volunteers with Young Community Leaders - a programme which enables young people to develop practical skills for personal, work or student life. At 22 years old, she tells us how she developed a love of volunteering from a young age.

I have always loved helping out, and from helping out I found my love for volunteering. I have been volunteering from a young age. The love started from when I was in transition year in school, we had to complete a week of community action as part of our work experience. I volunteered with St. Michaels House, a day centre in my community; this is when I found that I loved being part of my community. I then started a program called Young Community Leaders, which allowed me to develop the skills I needed to be an extraordinary leader. The program provided me with amazing volunteer opportunities like SpotsVStripes campaign for the 2012 London Olympics, which meant not only was I involved with my local community but also in the...

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My Volunteering Journey: As an Individual, an Employee, and an Entrepreneur (18th May 2017)

Patrice Fanning founded TWi (Technically Write IT) in 2011, having recognised an opportunity for an Irish-based company to offer fully managed high-quality writing, editing, and documentation solutions to leading hi-tech multinationals. She tells the story of how volunteering has always been an integral part of her life and how it’s been incorporated into the ethos of her company.

Growing up, volunteering was very much part of family life. My Dad was heavily involved with St. Vincent de Paul, while my mother and her friends ran a Gorta charity shop, and both of my parents were habitually involved with other charity events and activities – anything from flag days to coffee mornings.

Encouraged to support causes I believed in, I participated in numerous initiatives throughout school and college: running a student chapter of Amnesty International, being a volunteer leader in summer camps for low-income families, carol singing at Christmas, participating in sponsored...

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Youth Mentoring at Le Chéile (17th May 2017)

Cathy is a Youth Mentor with Le Chéile who provide a mentoring service to young people involved with Young Person’s Probation. Mentors act as a positive role model, advisor and friend. They work with a young person for 3 hours a week for up to 2 years.

I found out about Le Chéile from a volunteering website a few years ago. Volunteering with LChéile is a very uplifting and fulfilling experience. I’ve made many a friend through the volunteering and enjoy all the new activities and skills I learn. They’re skills I can use in everyday life. I’ve found it’s helped me grow as a person.

There are many challenges but I think a big one for mentoring is not to get too attached. You have to make sure the boundaries are in place at all times. Also, seeing so much potential in a young person that they can not see in themselves can be hard, but with time this can be worked on.

For anybody starting a new match, I would advise them to be patient. It can be hard starting off but...

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“The lads” that give us a hand! (16th May 2017)

Lisa Dolan is an Archivist and Volunteer Project Coordinator at the Military Archives and she tells us about her much loved volunteers.

It’s so easy for me to identify the positives of working with our Military Archives’ volunteers aka “The Lads” (Richard, Denis, Jim, Gerry and Tony)! My role as volunteer project coordinator is hugely rewarding both on a professional and personal level; it’s given me an opportunity to develop people and project management skills and learn from the vast knowledge held by our volunteers on aspects of military history and military life.

I’ve been with the Military Archives since 2008 and it was my first time working in an archives service that had, at its core, a desire to both attract volunteers in the first instance and a desire to nurture that relationship for as long as possible.  I put the focus of NVW 2017 “Do Good, Feel Good” campaign to our present volunteers in the Military Archives and once we got chatting about the benefits...

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A Day in the Life: Senior Helpline (12th May 2017)

Anne Dempsey tells us about a day in the life of Senior Helpline volunteers.

At 9.45am, the doorbell will ring at the Senior Help Line Dublin announcing help line volunteers arriving for duty. They will be buzzed in by our administrator who will walk down to the floor below to welcome them. Each volunteer will then settle into their soundproof booth and wait for the calls to come.

Senior Help Line is open every day of the year from 10am to 10pm with two volunteers on each rota duty. The first call will often come a few minutes after 10am.  It may be a regular caller, who has passed a lonely night and is delighted we are there to hear how he is, and learn about his day.  Or it may be someone who has recently heard of the service, and is calling because she has a worry, or is in crisis. Each caller is welcomed with courtesy and warmth, and our volunteers too gain a lot from their role.

Mairead Flanagan has been volunteering for almost three years: “At this time in my...

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Reflecting on National Volunteering Week 2017

National Volunteering Week 2017 has come and gone and now is the perfect time to reflect not just on the week but on volunteering in...

Posted May 22 by Amy Woods


Allie Sheehan: Young Community Leader

Allie Sheehan volunteers with Young Community Leaders - a programme which enables young people to develop practical skills for personal,...

Posted May 19 by Amy Woods
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