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Re. National Vetting Bureau Legislation
Dear Minister Shatter,
Your Department is to be commended for recent work to introduce legislation on vetting requirements for those who work or volunteer with children and vulnerable adults. It has long been considered best practice for volunteer-involving organisations to vet persons who seek positions relating to young people or vulnerable adults. We welcome the introduction of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012, which we believe will ensure a standard of Garda Vetting is implemented in all relevant volunteer involving organisations in Ireland and will help to make our country safer for both the beneficiaries of volunteering and for volunteers themselves.
While we are pleased the Government has introduced this legislation, we, as a group of voluntary sector leaders, are concerned that adequate resources are yet to be put in place to cope with an increased level of Garda Vetting applications. The legislation, which will require thousands of new and existing volunteers to be vetted for the first time, will significantly increase the level of applications to the National Vetting Bureau – which currently has a waiting period of 6-12 weeks to process applications.
We believe that an increase in waiting times for Garda Vettting could act as a significant barrier to volunteering, a disincentive to volunteer with thousands of volunteer involving organisations who work with and for young people and vulnerable adults in Ireland.
We have worked closely with the Garda Vetting Unit to date and appreciate the challenges the Unit has faced with limited resources and meeting increased demand for vetting. We urge the Government to take the necessary steps to ensure that the National Vetting Bureau is adequately resourced to deal with a significant increase in applications and the additional workload associated with this.
We the undersigned urgently require confirmation that the Government is commited to ensuring Garda Vetting waiting times are minimised and that adequate investment in resources within the National Vetting Bureau are put in place to ensure the succesful implementation of the legislation.
We look forward to hearing from you. Yours Sincerely,
Catherine Rose, CEO, Age and Opportunity
Marry Cunningham, Director, National Youth Council of Ireland
Deirdre Garvey, CEO, The Wheel
Yvonne McKenna, CEO, Volunteer Ireland (and on behalf of local Volunteer Centres)
Deirdre Finlay, Head of Programmes, VSO Ireland
The Volunteer Ireland Awards are the major annual initiative to celebrate volunteering in Ireland and are coordinated by Volunteer Ireland and supported by Panadol. Volunter Ireland is delighted to announce the shortlisted nominees for the Volunteer Ireland Awards 2012. These 30 remarkable volunteers will attend a gala ceremony in Dublin's City Hall on December 5th, International Volunteer Day.
Ireland's Volunteer of The Year and 10 overall category awardees will be announced at the event. The Volunteer Ireland Awards are an opportunity to thank these oustanding 30 volunteers but also to celebrate and recognise the thousands of remarkable people across the country who selflessly give their time and talent to benefit others and their communities.
Read the inspiring stories of the 30 shortlisted nominees for the Volunteer Ireland Awards below.
Alpha Gassama ClondalClean (in association with Clondalkin Tidy Towns)
Denis Heffernan Emly Tidy Towns
Jacqueline O’Driscoll Limerick Feral Cats
Michael Delaney/Bernard Mulvihill, The Helium Music Festival for Ataxia Ireland
Noel Heenan Brookfield Music Club
Sha Gillespie Foyle Gay Pride Festival, Derry
David Prendergast Laura Lynn House and Children’s Sunshine Home
Lorraine O’Neill Cystic Fibrosis, Cavan branch
Oliver Clare ReachOut.com
Cel Fennessy The Irish Girl Guides
John Healy Bru Youth Service
Johnny O’Neill, The Playtrail
Seamus Stack Dromcollogher & District Respite Care Centre
Sharon Parker-Byrne New Oak Estate Community
Wojciech Bialek Together-Razem Support & Integration Centre
Charlie Harnett Irish Red Cross (Tralee Branch)
Frances Walsh Offaly Dyslexia
Tomás Connaughton Civil Defence
Betty Wall Variety, the children's charity
Paul Fallon On the Road Again
Veronica Lucas Tallaght Hospital
Eva-Marie Costello Founder and Chairperson, Ashirbad Society N.U.I.G (in conjunction with Sisters of St.Joseph of Cluny, West Bengal, India)
Jacqueline McAuley VSO Ireland
Orla O’ Connell Outreach Moldova (ORM)
Anne Woodworth Samaritans – Waterford and South East Branch
Sinead Carey Novas Initiatives Street-Outreach
Sr. Helen Culhane Children's Grief Project
The search is on to find Ireland’s outstanding volunteers with the launch of the Panadol supported Volunteer Ireland Awards 2012.
Launching the awards, RTE Presenter Claire Byrne called on people in South Dublin County to go to www.volunteer.ie and nominate heroes in their own county who are deserving of a special ‘thank you’.
The Volunteer Ireland Awards are the major annual initiative to celebrate volunteering in Ireland that are coordinated by Volunteer Ireland and supported by Panadol.
Now in their fifth year, the Awards aim to celebrate and recognise the thousands of remarkable people across the country who selflessly give their time and talent to benefit others and their communities.
There are ten different awards categories including sports, arts, youth, environment, community, disability, education, social work, awareness raising and international development. Nominations can be received up to October 26th. Category winners and an overall winner will be decided at a special Awards ceremony in December.
Tricia Nolan, Manager of South Dublin County Volunteer Centre said: “We’re calling on all South Dublin residents to help us shine a light on this county’s remarkable volunteers. Volunteers are a charity or community group’s most precious resource. The Volunteer Ireland Awards is a great way of recognising and celebrating the contribution made by volunteers across Ireland. Take this opportunity to say thanks and nominate an outstanding volunteer you know for Volunteer of the Year.”
Panadol is delighted to be the lead sponsor of this important initiative for the third year and encourages everybody to nominate people they know whomake a positive contribution to making our communities better places in which to live.
South Dublin people can nominate their volunteer at www.volunteer.ie
Last year hundreds of volunteers were nominated from all parts of the country and awards were presented to the shortlisted nominees by President Michael D. Higgins.
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.
South Dublin County Volunteer Centre
About Volunteer Ireland
Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development agency and a representative body for over 20 Volunteer Centres in Ireland. Volunteer Ireland works to promote, facilitate and celebrate volunteering in Ireland.
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