National Volunteering Week 2019 takes place from 13th – 19th May and Sligo Volunteer Centre are getting geared up for a busy week of events.
2019 marks an historic year for volunteering in Ireland as the Government develops the first ever national volunteering strategy. The strategy has the potential to progress and enhance volunteering in Ireland. One area the strategy will focus on is developing a definition of volunteering, which currently doesn’t exist in an Irish context. To this end, the focus of this year’s campaign is to start a nationwide discussion on volunteering in Ireland – why do people volunteer, what does volunteering mean to people and how does volunteering impact our lives.
“Volunteering is an intrinsic part of Irish life. It affects us all whether or not we are volunteers ourselves,” according to Sligo Volunteer Centre Manager, Ciara Herity. “Having recently completed our Annual Report on our activities for 2018, it is clear the impact volunteering has on the lives of those who participate. Volunteers who registered with Sligo Volunteer Centre in 2018 and started volunteering were asked about changes in their feelings and experiences as a result of volunteering. It is amazing that 70% of those who responded reported feeling more included and less alone after connecting with volunteering”.
With loneliness and mental health an increasing topic of conversation across the country, the results also showed that 63% of those who responded felt an increase in their Mental Health & Wellbeing after volunteering.
Sligo Volunteer Centre have a number of local events happening in National Volunteering Week – starting with a talk at the Havin’ a Social Coffee morning happening in Blind Tiger at 10am on Monday 13th May. This monthly coffee morning is hosted by Havin’ a Laugh and is all about people looking to connect and socialise over a coffee. Havin’ a Laugh provide life enhancing activities to people in mental health recovery.
Tuesday 14th May will see a series of events – a Volunteer Information Session will be held in our offices at 11am for people starting their volunteer journey. Booking is essential for this.
At 12 noon, we will host a Form Filling Clinic – you can bring along those Volunteer Application forms that you are putting off filling in and we can give you a hand.
At 6.30pm in Northside Community Centre, we will welcome community groups who want to find out more about Finding & Keeping Volunteers. Again booking essential for this. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
On Thursday 16th May we will ‘pop-up’ in the Enable Charity Shop in Wine Street Carpark. We look forward to chatting to you as you bag a bargain!
“We are also encouraging organisations and community groups to host their own events during the week whether it’s a thank you celebration or a simple coffee and chat with their volunteers. National Volunteering Week is the perfect chance to thank volunteers, share their stories and recognise the impact they have on organisations and communities across Sligo.” Ciara concluded.
Individuals can also get involved on social media using #WhyIVolunteer.
For more information check out Facebook/SligoVolunteerCentre or www.volunteersligo.ie or email email@example.com