Volunteering in Letterkenny
Even if an organisation employs paid staff, volunteers still provide a valuable service and in many cases, some organisations could not operate without their volunteers. Volunteers help out on everything from staff telephone helplines, leading youth groups, coaching youth sports teams, organising fundraising events or even helping with administration. As part of European Youth Week we are looking at the importance of active citizenship and in particular what volunteering in your community can do for you personally and professionally.
People volunteer for a variety of reasons, including their desire to help the community and other people. Many people volunteer because they want to give something back to an organisation or community that helped them out at some stage of their life. Others volunteer to make new friends and to meet interesting people who share their interests and values.
If you are finding it difficult to find work in the current economic climate but would like to be active and productive, volunteering can help you while you look for work. Volunteering can help you develop your CV, as well as demonstrating a commitment to helping others. More importantly you can also develop new skills and get a sense of purpose and achievement. It can also be a great way to try out a job you are interested in. People considering a job in youth work or in any part of the community sector often discover that volunteering is a good way to get a peek at what happens on the inside. Volunteering in organisations often gives people opportunities for free training and an opportunity to try out skills.
Volunteering can also be a great way to share your passions in life with someone else. For example in the Youth Information Centre and Loft LK we have had people come along and volunteer to do things from art and cooking to dance or music workshops. Some people have come in simply to offer support and encouragement to younger people. The impact this has on young people’s lives is huge – they can learn from people who are passionate and talented and who are there because they want to be.
If you would like to volunteer there are many ways you can get involved. Some volunteers may like to get involved in direct project work with young people, while others may simply want to offer a couple of hours a week to help with some office administration. Whatever you feel you are suited to, just say, and most organisations will try to get you involved.
There are many projects in Letterkenny that are always looking for volunteers, such as ourselves in the Youth Information Centre, the Loft LK, the Letterkenny CDP, the Doorway Project or Letterkenny Youth and Family Service, among others.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering, contact the Youth Information Centre at 16-18 Port Road or phone us on 074-9129640 and we can put you in touch with a project near you.