National Volunteer Management Conference 2018

The 2018 National Volunteer Management Conference took place on Thursday 14th June in The Sutherland School of Law, UCD.

Volunteer Ireland presented a programme with masterclasses covering areas such as digital strategy for engaging volunteers, tips for volunteer screening and embedding excellence in volunteer management. The conference saw the launch of Volunteer Ireland’s strategic plan by Minister Sean Kyne and a closing address from Noeline Blackwell, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.

We were delighted to have BHP Insurance as this year’s conference partner.




Dr. Maura Farell

Rural Volunteer-ism, Impacting Development and Sustainability.

A lecturer in Rural Geography at NUIG, Maura’s academic training is in Rural & Agricultural Geography. Her interests are specifically focused around processes of social, cultural and economic change for rural inhabitants.

Maura is currently Lead Researcher with Ireland’s National Rural Network, while also working on Horizon 2020 and Northern Peripheries research projects; which focus largely on rural social change and land use policy.

Dr. Farrell will provide an overview of a collaborative project undertaken by NUI Galway, Volunteer Ireland, Volunteer Galway, Pat Kennedy (eTownz) and the Community Knowledge Initiative (NUI Galway).


Noeline Blackwell

The Power of Small Places, Close to Home.

Noeline Blackwell is a human rights lawyer who is Chief Executive of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre which works to prevent the harm and heal the trauma of sexual violence.

She has previously worked as the Director of FLAC, the Free Legal Advice Centres and as a solicitor in private practice. She is a member of the Commission on the Future of Policing. She has been a member of a number of NGO boards and of a statutory board. She currently sits on the boards of the Immigrant Council of Ireland and Front Line Defenders.


Craig Dwyer

Digital strategy for recruiting, mobilising & organising volunteers.

As Social Media Director for Yes Equality, Craig has direct experience of using digital and social media to recruit, mobilise and organise volunteers. This session will give you an insight into creating a digital strategy and the practical tips and tools you’ll need to manage your volunteers in an online world.


Janet Kehelly

The highlights, lowlights and the big bit in the middle.

This workshop will give an insight into the experience of a Galway city resource centre that relies on volunteers to deliver a range of programmes to people in the community and living in direct provision. Janet will give an overview of how their volunteer programme works and the aspects that are core to making it work effectively – that’s the big bit in the middle. But it’s the ups and downs that we all want to know about.


Mary O’Connor

Resourcing volunteers.

The resourcing of volunteers is essential to maintaining and enticing people to become involved in your organisation. We can only expect volunteers to be actively involved if we are willing to properly resource them once recruited! The ‘how, why, when, where and what’ of this is essential in an era where everyone seems to have limited time to give. In this session we will look at developing and implementing an effective strategy for resourcing your volunteers and consider what a successful resourcing looks like.


Niamh Byrne

Ten steps to effectively screen your volunteers.

Screening doesn’t begin and end with Garda Vetting. Screening continues through your engagement of the volunteer. This session will explore the various methods of screening volunteers. You will gain an understanding of what screening is and identify which screening tools best suit specific volunteer roles in your organisation.


Emma Thomas-Hancock

Embedding ‘excellence’ in volunteer management.

This masterclass will explore the policies and processes that define ‘excellent’ volunteer management across a range of volunteering projects while supporting a diverse group of volunteers and beneficiaries. The master class will include information about the journey Volunteering Matters has been on to standardize its volunteer management and work towards introducing generic volunteer management across the charity.


Sharon Meaney

Good feedback is the key to improvement.

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is the largest Irish Music & Cultural Festival in the World and relies on over 1,500 volunteers to support and run the 10 day event. Clare Volunteer Centre were tasked in 2016 & 2017 with designing a Volunteer Management Programme to recruit, select, train, support and supervise the 1,500 Fleadh Volunteers. Find out how they incorporated a structured feedback element in 2016 to inform and improve the 2017 programme using the volunteer experience to shape both the training and support elements of the programme.


Edwina Dewart

Board Recruitment, Opportunities and Diversity: an overview of TrustIE


Lorraine Tansey

Erasmus+ Online Training Programme



Quality Standards

Awarded to all Volunteer Centres in ireland

Investing in Volunteers

Awarded to Camara and the Dublin Simon Community