Volunteering is the commitment of time and energy, for the benefit of society, local communities, individuals outside the immediate family, the environment or other causes. Voluntary activities are undertaken of a person’s own free will, without payment (www.volunteer.ie). Volunteers play a critical role in the success and on-going development of Westport Family & Community Resource Centre. The Centre also recognises the benefits of volunteering and participation for people themselves which has also been voiced by our volunteers with people indicating increased opportunity for social interaction, increased life satisfaction and positive mental health as the main benefits (Heraty, 2013). The Centre aims to ensure that volunteers are provided with the information, training and support that they need to encourage their involvement at all levels in the organisation and that clear lines of communication and accountability are specified.
The culture of Westport Family & Community Resource Centre is encouraging of volunteer involvement. The Centre recognises the skill set and commitment that volunteers bring to the organisation. Volunteers are considered the backbone of our projects. Volunteers are matched to projects based on their preferences and skill set, there is scope to swap projects if the volunteer makes such a request and project specific training will be provided in this circumstance. We actively encourage all volunteers to attend any additional training that may be running in the centre that would be of benefit to them in their role. It is our policy to regularly link in with volunteers to ensure that they have the necessary resources required to implement their roles effectively.
We prioritise community development as an approach to our work and core to this is the facilitation of community involvement. We have worked hard in building a strong and dedicated volunteer team, with adequate management and support structures built in. Our volunteers are at the heart of the organisation and a crucial aspect of the way in which we work. We currently have a volunteer team of nearly 70 people, supporting the delivery of a range of community projects and initiatives. The Centre is one of the largest voluntary organizations within the town and a significant resource not alone for services and supports but as a vehicle for community development and social change.
If you would like to volunteer with us please fill in the Expression of Interest form available to download here or you can drop in to the Centre to pick up a form. The form should be filled and returned for the attention of John Doherty.
John Doherty is the Centre’s Volunteer Co-ordinator and he will be in touch if there are any volunteering opportunities available.
John can be contacted on 087 9602490 / firstname.lastname@example.org