According to Ireland’s National Volunteering Strategy, volunteering is ‘any time willingly given, either formally or informally, for the common good and without financial gain.’
There are so many different ways people can volunteer, the list is truly endless.
Many people volunteer based on their likes or interests. For example, if you love animals, you might like to volunteer with a group that helps animals. If you’re interested in nature, you might like to volunteer with an environmental group. In other cases, someone might want to volunteer for a cause that’s close to their heart like a cancer charity if they have had a loved one experience cancer.
The important thing is to decide what you’re interested in or passionate about and look for a role that matches that.
Some people volunteer based on their specific skillset, whether that’s wanting to develop a certain skill or simply share their skill with others. For example, if you’re skilled in dealing with people, maybe you’d like a role that involves engaging with the public or service users. Or maybe you’re great at all things tech and could really help an organisation with those skills.
Whatever skills you might like to share, make sure they are skills you enjoy doing and would be happy to do in your spare time.
We are often asked if volunteering only counts with an organisation and the answer is, absolutely not! While many people volunteer to help charities and community groups, many people also volunteer as individuals or with groups of friends/neighbours in the community. For example, getting the grocery shopping for an elderly person or coming together with neighbours for an estate clean up.
Different types of volunteering suit different people. The most important thing is to find a volunteer role that’s right for you.