CEO, Volunteer Ireland
Over one million people in Ireland volunteer. That’s almost a quarter of the population giving back and making a difference in communities across Ireland every day.
What they do often goes unseen, but volunteering makes up the social fabric of local communities. When people volunteer they feel closer to their community and the people in it, and they take pride in their community.
Volunteering doesn’t just have a big impact on communities, it can have lots of positive benefits for the people who volunteer. Our research shows that volunteering has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of those that volunteer. Making new friends, experiencing improved mental health and feeling an increased sense of belonging to their community are just some of the benefits experienced by volunteers. Not to mention that it can be great fun!
Small actions make a big difference
Giving back doesn’t always have to mean a huge time commitment – small actions can make a big difference to a community. It can be as simple as checking in on a neighbour or maybe helping out at the school sports day. There are lots of ‘one-off’ ways to get involved in your community too – you could sell pins on Daffodil Day or take part in a local clean up. It will just take a few hours of your life but it could make a big difference to someone else’s.
It’s easier than ever to volunteer
People often ask us what it is exactly that volunteers do and the truth is there are so many ways for people to get involved in their communities. In fact, sometimes there are so many options people can get overwhelmed.
Finding a volunteer role that’s right for you couldn’t be easier. You can simply visit www.volunteer.ie or download our brand new app, I-VOL, and search all of the opportunities available in your area. There are also some helpful tips on the website to help you think through the kind of volunteer role that might be right for you.
Sometimes, people find it easier to talk to someone when they don’t know where to start. There is a Volunteer Centre in each county and they can help you think about what you’d like to do, what skills you have and how much time you can spare. You can call or visit them anytime so they can help you find the role that suits you best. All of their details are available on our website.