This National Volunteering Week, we’re celebrating the contributions volunteers make in our communities. Mary-Louise Ryan from Galway Community Volunteers, tells us her story.

Student Mary-Louise Ryan shares her recent experience as a Community Volunteer in Galway. The new ‘Community Volunteers’ project supports local needs in our communities. Community Volunteers support local events and festivals along with more urgent needs, like the local response in assisting Ukrainian refugees.

“When I came back to Galway to do my Masters I wanted to get involved in some way. Since things have been opening up again, there’s been really exciting opportunities to volunteer.

“Recently, I’ve volunteered as an usher at a concert and participated in a beach clean. And I’ve been volunteering at a Community Centre, assisting Ukrainian refugee children. It’s nice to spend time with them and take their minds off what’s going on.

“I’ve had a really positive experience overall. I enjoy meeting new people and learning more about my community. It’s a great way to meet people who are like-minded because they’re interested in getting involved in the community too. Meeting people from a completely different background has been really eye-opening too.

“The amount of time I spend volunteering varies, but on average I spend about 3 hours volunteering each week. Whatever you put in, you get back tenfold. You gain new friends, new perspectives, and knowledge. It’s not just giving, giving, giving. You get so much back from it.”

Are you interested in becoming a Community Volunteer like Mary-Louise? The Community Volunteers project is initially running in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Leitrim, Louth, Meath, Offlay, Roscommon, Sligo, and Wicklow. Find out how you can get involved:

Thank you to Mary-Louise for sharing her Volunteer Story. Please DM us or email [email protected] if you’d like to share yours! #MyVolunteerStory #CelebrateVolunteers #NVW2022

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