CEO, Volunteer Ireland
Ireland is a nation of volunteers. We’ve always been great at giving back and with over 1 million of us giving time for others each year, that shows no sign of slowing down.
Volunteering is essential to Irish society
From simply checking in on a neighbour to fundraising for a particular cause, people across Ireland make a real difference in their communities every day. Think of the first responders, the befrienders, the football coaches, the youth mentors, the mental health campaigners, the tree planters, the refugee welcomers, and the people simply helping an elderly neighbour with their weekly shop – what would we do without them? Volunteers are at the heart of local communities and make Ireland what it is today.
Volunteering is good for you
Giving back doesn’t just strengthen communities – it has real benefits for the volunteer too. Volunteering has been proven to have a positive impact on the health and well-being of volunteers, with many reporting improved mental health and an increase in confidence.
People also find that volunteering is a great way to develop skills and meet new people. Most of all it creates a sense of belonging to the community, and it can be great fun!
Volunteering is for everyone
It might sound clichéd but there really is something for everyone. Choosing a volunteer role that’s right for you depends on your passion and interests, your skills and the amount of time you can spare. While many people’s perception of volunteering might be committing to one organisation for a set amount of time, volunteering has evolved a lot over the years. New ways of volunteering have emerged to accommodate the changing motivations of volunteers such as:
Microvolunteering – this is volunteering that just takes a few minutes. For example, transcribing a letter from the 1916 rising.
Virtual volunteering – this is volunteering that can be done online from the comfort of your couch. For example, helping edit a website or design a charity card.
Event volunteering – this is volunteering at one-off events and festivals.
Family volunteering – for example, bringing your kids along to a beach clean-up.
So there really is something for everyone!