A major aim of We Act is to boost engagement and participation in our communities. We want every person living in Ireland to feel ownership of our charities and our community groups - because they belong to all of us!
And the best way to feel part of your community? Get involved as a volunteer.
What Do Volunteers Do?
In Ireland, volunteers do phenomenal work in our communities every single day, and we're not always aware of it.
We might be able to spot the volunteers in charity shops, planning fundraisers or organising a local clean-up. But there are also the volunteer firefighters and first aiders, literacy mentors and sports coaches, solicitors and gardeners, befrienders and drivers, receptionists and dog-fosterers, and knitters and tea-makers.
Activism is volunteering. Being on a charity board is volunteering. Going to the supermarket for your neighbour is volunteering.
Volunteer roles are broad and diverse. They can be done alone or as part of a group, informally or with structure, they can include skills from your day job or involve trying something new.
And that's why there is a volunteer role for everyone.
There are over
1 million volunteers in Ireland.
28% of the population say they have volunteered in the last 12 months.
In Ireland, there are over 73,000 charity board members.
All of them are volunteers, donating their time and expertise as trustees.
Did you know?
There are 29 Volunteer Centres located all around Ireland where you can find out about volunteering opportunities near you.
How to Become a Volunteer
Volunteer Ireland works to support, promote and celebrate volunteering in Ireland. It's a one-stop-shop for everything you need to start volunteering.
They work with Volunteer Centres around the country to support volunteers at a local level, and manage i-VOL, an online database to help you discover volunteer roles that match your skills, interests and availability. Their site
Visit volunteer.ie to find the right volunteering opportunity for you.
Boardmatch Ireland connects individuals who are interested in volunteering their skills with charities and not-for-profits that have board and committee vacancies.
Anyone can be a board member or charity trustee, you don't need a specific qualification, it's all about finding the right board for your skills, and an organisation or cause that you're passionate about.
Visit boardmatch.ie to find out about current board opportunities.
StudentVolunteer.ie connects higher education students who are interested in volunteering their skills and time with charities, not-for-profits and voluntary groups.
They work with campus Volunteer Managers around the country to support student volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations through an online database, student awards and creating volunteering projects.
Visit studentvolunteer.ie to find out about student volunteering opportunities.
The Board Recruitment Service is a new initiative by the Federation of Irish Sport to help sporting organisations to identify talent for their boards.
For those wishing to get involved in a sporting organisation at board level, the recruitment services offers the opportunity to expand your involvement in sport or give back to the sector after a career or lifetime of experience within it.
Visit irishsport.ie for more details on joining the board of a sporting body.
Why Should You Volunteer?
Every volunteer role has seen and unseen benefits, for both the volunteer, and the organisation or individuals they are impacting. If you deliver Meals on Wheels for example, you're not just delivering a nutritious meal, you're offering a friendly face and a chat at the door.
Regardless of the role, volunteering has huge benefits for wider society too.
Promotes active citizenship - people who are engaged in and care about their communities
Helps to build vibrant, thriving communities, filled with local arts, sports, and recreation
Gives equity and support to the most vulnerable in our communities
Ensures our charities and community groups are well-governed and purposeful
Provides skills and experience to those who volunteer
Allows us to meet new people and explore interests or possible career paths
Lets us use our time and talents in a meaningful, productive way
Drives sustainability and positive societal change