South Dublin County Volunteer Centre has today welcomed the publication of a call for input on the proposed national volunteering strategy by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Ireland has a historically strong culture of volunteering, ranking number one in Europe for giving time[1] with about 1 million people giving back each year[2]. According to South Dublin Volunteer Centre, volunteering requires strong organisations and managers able to provide volunteers with meaningful, safe and rewarding roles.

Tricia Nolan, South Dublin Volunteer Centre Manager commented: “The incredible generosity that Irish people show in giving their time for others has led to volunteering being embedded at the heart of Irish communities. However, there are many challenges facing the future of volunteering that need to be addressed. Volunteering needs to be adequately resourced, and the way people want to volunteer is changing: People are increasingly looking for more skills-based and short-term roles, and organisations need support to meet this changing demand. We need to address these challenges now if we want to remain a leading country in volunteering.”

Research conducted by Volunteer Ireland in 2017[3], showed that volunteering has a range of positive benefits to the individual including improved physical and mental health along with an increased sense of belonging to the community and decreased loneliness.

Tricia added: “This national volunteering strategy has the potential to create the best possible environment for volunteering allowing volunteers, organisations and society to reap the benefits.

“Along with Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres, we’ve been advocating for a national volunteering strategy for a number of years and we’re delighted to see the Government casting the net far and wide for input before it develops the strategy. Volunteers impact on all corners of society and also support a number of public services including the emergency services and health. This strategy is important, not just to the quarter of the population who volunteer and the organisations they support, but to the communities across the country who feel the tangible impact of volunteering every day.”

South Dublin Volunteer Centre encourages all interested parties to make a submission to the call for input. To inform South Dublin Volunteer Centres’ submission, the organisation will host a regional consultation in the New Year in partnership with Volunteer Ireland and our fellow Volunteer Centres in the South region. Details of the consultation will be available on website shortly.

 

Volunteering Statistics

In 2013, the CSO included questions about volunteering in the Q3 Quarterly National Household Survey. A number of questions were asked around time spent volunteering, type of volunteering and impact of volunteering. The full results can be accessed here. See some select statistics below.

  • 28.4% of adults in Ireland volunteer. For context, that over a quarter of the population or over 1 million people.
  • 65% of those who volunteered were over the age of 45.
  • Half of all volunteering was work carried out directly by individuals (informal) rather than through organisations (formal).
  • Those who volunteered, whether they were male or female, were more likely to rate their level of life satisfaction as ‘very high’ or high’ than those who did not volunteer.

Volunteer Ireland has also conducted two recent pieces of research on volunteering: The Impact of Volunteering on the Health and Well-Being of the Volunteer (2017) and Rural Volunteerism: Impacting Development and Sustainability (2018).

About Volunteer Ireland

Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development organisation and a support body for all local Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services in Ireland. Our vision is every person connected to and participating in their communities to build a better Irish society. Volunteer Ireland works to increase awareness of, access to and quality in volunteering in Ireland. For further information, visit: http://www.volunteer.ie/

About Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services

The 21 Volunteer Centres provide a placement service between individuals and groups who want to undertake voluntary activity and organisations that are seeking to involve volunteers. Volunteer Centres are the local leaders in community engagement, supporting and promoting volunteering. The aims of the 8 Volunteering Information Services in Ireland are the same as Volunteer Centres. As Volunteering Information Services are at the first stage of development of a Volunteer Centre, they provide a basic service, hosting a website and providing access to the I-VOL database. All 8 Volunteering Information Services will be upgraded to Volunteer Centres in 2019 with funding provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development. For a full list of Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services, please see: https://www.volunteer.ie/about-us/vcs-and-viss/find-your-vcvis/

 

[1] https://www.cafonline.org/docs/default-source/about-us-publications/caf_wgi2018_report_webnopw_2379a_261018.pdf

[2] https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/q-vwb/qnhsvolunteeringandwellbeingq32013/

[3] https://www.volunteer.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Volunteer_Ireland-Report_FINAL.pdf