People who found volunteer work through Galway Volunteer Centre have contributed an estimated €1.5 million worth of volunteer hours in the city and county during the past four years.
The Mill Street based centre says this is the equivalent of 60 fulltime workers for the non-profit sector locally.
This achievement is “even more startling” considering that Galway Volunteer Centre [GVC] receives annual funding from the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs for just two fulltime staff members, says Donncha Foley, development manager with GVC.
“These figures are something for people living in Galway to be extremely proud of. People from all walks of life have used our service to find volunteer work and this dedication and commitment to helping others reflects very well on Galway as a whole,” he says.
The “straightforward” free service that GVC provides makes it very easy to find volunteer work, he believes. “People come to us and they are often not sure of what opportunities are out there. We can very quickly provide them a list of exactly what is needed and we help them to find the most suitable role for themselves.”
More than 4,500 people have used the GVC service since 2006 and 325 organisations have advertised 1,000 vacancies. More than 60 per cent of people using the facility never volunteered before.
The Volunteer Centre has taken the mystery out of volunteering, according to Mr Foley.
“From speaking to people who register with us it is very clear that without the GVC a large amount of these potential volunteers would not have known where to start when it came to finding volunteer work.”
People interested in volunteering can contact the centre’s office at 17/18 Mill Street, log onto www.volunteergalway.ie or telephone (091 ) 539930. Current volunteer opportunities are listed on the website and are updated regularly.
The centre, which is funded by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs and Galway City Council, usually has about 100 vacancies available and tries to meet with as many people as possible to identify suitable opportunities for them.