In a new survey carried out by Mayo Volunteer Centre, 61 per cent of respondents said their interpersonal skills had improved following their volunteering experience while 60 per cent reported an increase in their self-esteem.
Details of the survey of almost 1,800 volunteers were released to launch National Volunteering Week 2017, which takes place from Monday, May 15, to Sunday, May 21. National Volunteering Week is an annual event which showcases the super work done by volunteers across the country; how people can get involved in volunteering and how your local volunteer centre can support you.
This year’s National Volunteering Week will focus on health and wellbeing by showcasing the positive impact volunteering can have on those who volunteer. Fiona Cunnane, manager of Mayo Volunteer Centre, said: “Volunteers do tremendous work all over Ireland giving their time for charities and their local communities. We often talk about the impact volunteers have on the people and organisations they volunteer with and now we want to shine a light on the impact it has on the volunteer themselves.
“Gaining new skills, making friends, building confidence, and feeling part of the community are all part and parcel of being a volunteer. While a lot of people begin volunteering because they’d like to give something back, many volunteers find that they actually get more from the experience than they give.”
To celebrate National Volunteering Week, Mayo Volunteer Centre is running two events and issued an open invitation to the public to pop in. On Tuesday May 16 from 11am to 4pm, the centre is hosting an open day at its office on Cathedral Road, Ballina. And on Thursday, May 18, from 11am to 1pm, it is holding a coffee morning in conjunction with Le Cheile Family Resource Centre, on Tucker Street, Castlebar. Everyone is welcome to pop in for a cuppa and information chat about volunteering and community involvement. There is no obligation and no pressure – just go and see what it’s all about. Ms Cunnane added: “We are part of a national network of volunteer centres across the country and we are here to support anyone who wants to volunteer in Mayo. I encourage anyone who is thinking about volunteering to visit us this week and find out how you can get involved.”