People of Laois and surrounding areas will be able to explore the possibilities of volunteering with local groups when a new Volunteer Centre opens in the county.
Volunteer Ireland has announced that it will open a full-service Volunteer Centre in Laois next year and recruitment is now open for trustees of the board of Laois Volunteer Centre.
The Volunteer Centre will help people who want to volunteer in their community to find suitable volunteer roles and will help local organisations to recruit volunteers. It will also provide a range of other services including Garda vetting and training in volunteer management.
To date, Laois has had a Volunteering Information Service operating with very limited time and staff resources, aiming to simply maintain a website and access to the national volunteering database I-VOL.
Laois is one of eight counties that has not had a full Volunteer Centre and is now finally getting one - along with Cavan, Kilkenny, Leitrim, Offaly, Roscommon, Waterford and Wexford. This has been made possible with funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development.
According to Volunteer Ireland CEO Nina Arwitz, this is an exciting milestone that Volunteer Ireland has been campaigning for over a number of years.
“Ireland has a strong ethos of volunteering. Having a Volunteer Centre in every county will help ensure that we foster a resilient and vibrant volunteering culture into the future, which will contribute to the health and sustainability of our local communities.
“Laois Partnership Company has done a phenomenal job supporting volunteering by hosting the Volunteering Information Service and has played a significant role in making this next step possible.
"People in Ireland are known for their willingness to give back and the Volunteer Centre will be there to guide them to find volunteer roles that are suitable to their skills and interests. Equally, they will provide much-needed support to organisations that, in many cases, simply wouldn’t survive without volunteers," she said.
Recruitment is open for trustees of the board of Laois Volunteer Centre. Trustees with a range of skills are being sought to drive the future of volunteering in Laois.
“We are encouraging anyone with an interest in volunteering to consider joining the board of Laois Volunteer Centre. This is a unique opportunity to join the Volunteer Centre at the beginning of their journey and have a real and meaningful impact on volunteering in the area," she added.
When the process is complete, every county in Ireland will have a Volunteer Centre meaning that no matter where a person lives they will have access to quality support and guidance if they are interested in volunteering.
Volunteer Ireland will host a public meeting for anyone interested in learning more about the Volunteer Centre. It will take place on Thursday, October 10 from 4.30 pm to 5.30 pm in the Midlands Park Hotel.
More information on the recruitment process and the public meeting is available here.