Ten things to consider when thinking about becoming a volunteer
Consider why you’d like to volunteer – you have free time, you’d like to give something back, for work experience or perhaps to get involved in your local community. Identifiying why will help you decide the type of volunteering you are best suited to.
Type of volunteering – would you like to volunteer with animals, the elderly or youth, would you like to be in an office, out fundraising, involved in a tidy towns project or something else?
What are your skills? Your qualities? Is there anything you love doing? – Some people volunteer in something comparable to their job, some volunteer in relation to an interest or hobby they have.
A cause or issue that’s important to you? – There may be an organisation who deal with an issue you feel strongly about, or a local organisation you’d like to get involved with.
Would you like to learn something new? – Take on a new challenge, gain a new skill or dip your toe into a new area?
Time available – What time do you have free in your week, when can you volunteer and for how long?
Organisations have questions too! – Organisations will look to do some level of screening depending on the role(s), eg: some will do an informal interview with you, others will look for references, and depending on the role you may be Garda vetted.
I never thought of that! – Volunteers aren’t just needed in charity shops, sports clubs and homeless shelters. Organisations involve volunteers in a great deal of their work including befriending, animal fostering, office administration, tutoring and massage therapy to name a few.
Virtual (home based) volunteering – If you have web access and the necessary skills, some organisations offer the opportunity to volunteer from home. Virtual volunteering might be well-suited to you if you have limited time, no transportation or additional physical needs.
Fundraising, Seasonal & once-off opportunities – If you are willing to help out various different organisations, without a long-term commitment to any, and you are flexible in the help you can give, we are always looking for people to do fundraising collecting, festival/event stewarding and more on an ad-hoc basis.