People are urged to lend a hand during volunteering week
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.