In 1993, the Area Action Plan of the Tallaght Partnership recognised that volunteering could be part of a continuum in getting unemployed people into further education and training and also into employment. It also recognised that volunteers and volunteering was under-supported in the Tallaght area and whereas on one hand organisations were finding it difficult to recruit volunteer, on the other hand volunteers were finding it difficult to access interesting opportunities and were also feeling under-supported and over-stretched. At the time there was no structured support in place to deal with these problems.
The Tallaght Welfare Society obtained funding from the Partnership for a feasibility study to explore the need for a Volunteer Development Resource Unit for Tallaght. The study recommended that a volunteer bureau be set up and specified four key areas of initial activity:
- Skills Training
first steering committee
A steering committee was set up to develop a plan, based on these priorities, for the formation of the Bureau. This steering committee was drawn from representatives of the community and voluntary sector in Tallaght.
This steering committee developed a three-year Work Plan, which has been the basis for the activities of the bureau from February 1999 to date. It also sourced funding from Comhairle to core fund the bureau including a manager’s salary in January 1999. A manager took office in February 1999 with the official opening of the bureau taking place in July 1999 thus launching the first Volunteer Centre in Ireland.
It was agreed that an on-going Management Committee/Board of Directors, would replace the initial Steering Committee.
Today, South Dublin County Volunteer Centre is registered as a company limited by guarantee with a Board of Directors. The manager reports directly to the Board of Directors on a six weekly basis. The present staffing compliment of the Volunteer Centre is:
- Manager (Fulltime)
- Placement Officers x2
- Organisational Support worker
- IT support and development worker
- Volunteer Corps Project worker
We are situated in County Hall, Tallaght and the Civic Offices in Clondalkin.