Waterford Volunteer Centre is a new service with an aim of supporting and strengthening all aspects of volunteering across Waterford.

We engage with both individuals that are interested in volunteering and organisations that involve volunteers. We provide a volunteer placement service, matching volunteers with appropriate opportunities. We offer guidance on volunteer recruitment and management and in collaboration with the network of volunteer centres provide relevant training. Our Garda Vetting service is available to organisations that do not have an authorised signatory. 
 
Now that the lockdown is easing, and organisations are starting to emerge from their enforced hibernation, the number of opportunities for people to engage in volunteering is set to increase considerably in the coming months.

Speaking to lots of organisations we have noticed a number of trends, and areas where many interesting opportunities exist. Youth organisations will be ramping up their activities and volunteer opportunities will be abundant. There are also a number of very interesting opportunities with environmental organisations.

A particular trend that is developing is the need for board level volunteers. Many organisations are finding that they lack sufficient numbers of people and/or specific skill sets to meet both their objectives and the increasing regulatory and compliance measures. Traditionally this was addressed by appointing more permanent board members. In smaller communities finding new board members can be particularly challenging, especially when local networks have been exhausted. Therefore, we are exploring a number of approaches to filling the skills gap that includes mentoring, short-term project-based engagement, networking support, learning supports and administrative assistance. This will hopefully create a number of interesting short and long-term opportunities, both with voluntary organisations and with the Volunteer Centre itself.
 
As well as being innately rewarding themselves, these opportunities may be of particular interest to people who are seeking to expand their management experience, to improve promotion prospects, or to develop their communication skills. We believe it is a very exciting time to engage in volunteering.
 
For more information you can speak to:
Sharon Higgins, Centre Manager, sharon@volunteerwaterford.ie 083 026 8144 or
Paul Deegan, Placement & Development Officer, paul@volunteerwaterford.ie 086 142 4928