Shorten the winter by volunteering

darker and colder evenings, members of the public are being called upon to look at the option of volunteering as an antidote to that wintry feeling.

This is the a time of year when people try new things to help shorten the winter and Galway Volunteer Centre Development manager, Donncha Foley, believes there is a feel-good factor to getting involved in the local community ‘’Galway has had a fantastic summer that has stretched on longer than anyone expected, and we are appealing to people to keep that positive feeling going by doing some voluntary work. There is an amazing range of volunteering activities out there and we can help people find something that suits them.’’

GVC has been helping members of the public to volunteer since 2006, by providing an updated list of available volunteer roles on their website. The team meets with people to help them choose volunteer roles that match their interests and availability. Donncha Foley says they are constantly amazed by the amount of people who come to the centre with a desire to do something to help others. In 2013 over one thousand new people used the centre to discover volunteer opportunitie. Donncha Foley thinks volunteering has many benefits and not just for those that are being helped but also for the people who volunteer their services ‘‘Apart from the direct positive impact that volunteering has for the community organisations involved, research shows that it can also be extremely beneficial for the person volunteering, as it can lead to the development of new skills, making new friends and general improvment in mental health.’’

Galway Volunteer Centre operates from a city centre office at William Street West, and also runs monthly Volunteer Point outreach clinics in Clifden, Oughterard, Tuam, Athenry, Gort, Loughrea, Oranmore, Doughiska, Ballybane, and Westside. Members of the public can apply directly for volunteer roles by visiting the centre’s website at www.volunteergalway.ie or people can also contact the centre on 091 581727.

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