Peo­ple are urged to lend a hand dur­ing vol­un­teer­ing week

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

AS NATIONAL Vol­un­teer­ing Week gets un­der way, County Wick­low Vol­un­teer Cen­tre is ask­ing the pub­lic to con­sider how they might con­trib­ute to their com­mu­nity and make a dif­fer­ence.

Ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey by Vol­un­teer Ire­land, 67 per cent of peo­ple who vol­un­teer feel an in­creased sense of be­long­ing to their com­mu­nity and 70 per cent felt it gives them an in­creased sense of in­clu­sion and not be­ing alone.

Leah Kin­sella, Man­ager of County Wick­low Vol­un­teer Cen­tre, sin­gled out this link be­tween vol­un­teer­ing and con­nected communities as the fo­cus of this year’s cam­paign.

‘Vol­un­teer­ing builds bet­ter communities, it re­ally is as sim­ple as that,’ she said. ‘From lo­cal Tidy Towns groups to Com­mu­nity First Re­spon­ders and the par­ents coach­ing their chil­dren’s sports teams – com­ing to­gether to give back makes a com­mu­nity stronger.

When peo­ple vol­un­teer they feel closer to their com­mu­nity and the peo­ple in it, and they take pride in their com­mu­nity.’

Ms Kin­sella said that Ire­land has a strong cul­ture of vol­un­teer­ing and this was again clear dur­ing the re­ces­sion.

‘Vol­un­teers in communities that were hit hard came to­gether to do what they could to keep their town cen­tre alive, plant­ing flow­ers to brighten up the area or work­ing to­gether to cre­ate lo­cal events and fes­ti­vals.

‘This cul­ture has only got­ten stronger since then as Ir­ish communities con­tinue to feel the im­pact of lo­cals who make a dif­fer­ence.’

National Vol­un­teer­ing Week be­gan on Mon­day and con­tin­ues un­til Sun­day, May 20.

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Kin­sella there is a vol­un­teer op­por­tu­nity to suit ev­ery­one. ‘There is a wide va­ri­ety of roles suit­able for peo­ple of all ages and skill level,’ she said. ‘And giv­ing back doesn’t al­ways mean a huge time com­mit­ment ei­ther. Small actions can make a big dif­fer­ence to a com­mu­nity.’

To find out more, call the cen­tre on 01 2040884 or 086 3258803, go to vol­un­teer­wick­low.ie or email info@vol­un­teer­wick­low.ie.

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