Volunteer centre predicts busy year due to rising unemployment

Galway Volunteer Centre is expecting a major increase in the number of people registering with it to find volunteer work this year due to the increasing number of people becoming unemployed in the city and county.

Over the past six months the centre - which is based at Mill Street and has reported a 300 per cent increase in the number of people seeking volunteer work last year - has reported that more and more people calling to the office are unemployed.

“We expect 2009 to be our busiest year yet as people can often see volunteering as a way of staying active while unemployed and keeping their skills up to date,” says Donncha Foley, development manager at Galway Volunteer Centre.

“Volunteering can also be a great way to look at other career options and develop new skills. Since we moved to our office in Mill Street in 2008 we have seen a huge increase in the amount of people using our service and we would expect this to continue.”

He says more than 1,000 people registered with the GVC in 2008 and over 200 volunteer vacancies were advertised on its website. The centre has placed more than 60 per cent of those who looked for volunteer work. The centre also helped to develop 10 once-off volunteer projects in 2008 linking local businesses and non-profit organisations.

Anyone interested in using the service can call to the office or register online at www.volunteergalway.ie “We usually have around 100 vacancies available at any one time and we meet with as many people as possible to identify suitable opportunities for them. I would encourage anyone who is seeking work to think seriously about volunteering as an option.”

Galway Volunteer Centre is a one-stop shop for voluntary activity, providing volunteering opportunities for the public, sourcing much needed volunteers for organisations and providing support for organisations in managing volunteers.

The centre is funded by the Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Galway city and county councils, and Galway Rural Development.

For more information visit its website at www.volunteergalway or telephone (091 ) 539930 or call to its office at 17/18 Mill Street.

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