Helpful Info for Volunteers
Things to consider when deciding to Volunteer!
- Give something back to your community or society
- Gain valuable training and experience which may lead to paid employment
- Make use of special interests and talents
- Learn new skills and/or develop new interests
- Meet new people with similar interests
- Find out more about an area of work you are considering as a career
- Have a chance to take some responsibility and make decisions
- Be an active citizen
- Make a difference
How will I manage my time?
- How much time can you spare for volunteering? Remember your other commitments (family, hobbies, employment) and try not to over commit yourself.
- Are your circumstances likely to change in the near future?
- What period of time can you commit to volunteering?
- For example, one day? A month? Six months?
- Some voluntary projects require you to stay for a minimum period of time, so do check before you decide on a project.
- How much time do you wish to commit to volunteering? For example, one day a month, one hour a week, more than this or less?
- What times of the day are you free? Morning? Afternoon?
- What days of the week are you free?
What other factors should I take into account?
- Do you have your own transport?
- In what ways do you feel you can best contribute?
- What are your particular skills and interests?
- What do you really enjoy doing?
- Do you like to work with people?
- Do you prefer to do something practical?
- Many everyday skills are useful when volunteering. Make sure you don’t overlook skills such as writing letters, decorating, talking, listening, DIY, driving, reading, shopping, sport, leisure and outdoor activities, entertainment, gardening etc.
- If you want to work with people, have you identified a particular group of people with whom you would like to work?
Voluntary work and social welfare payments
Voluntary work is a good way to keep active, learn new skills and get involved in your local community. You may do some unpaid work as a volunteer and keep your social welfare payment. However, you must continue to meet all the conditions attached to your payment.
Your Intreo centre or social welfare local office or the section paying your social welfare payment will usually decide whether you can keep your social welfare payment and work as a volunteer.
In most instances to get permission from the Department you may need to fill in application form (VW1), which is available from your Intreo centre or social welfare local office. If you need any assistance or advice with filling in this form please contact your local Citizens Information Centre http://centres.citizensinformation.ie/
For more information visit the Citizen’s Information Website
What type of volunteering interests you?
Is there a cause that is close to your heart? Would you like to help a specific group or organisation achieve its aim?
- Arts & Culture
- Community Development
- Equality and Promotion of Equality
- Mental Health
Do you have a skill that you would like to share? Do you have a favourite hobby or a passion that you would like to share with others? There are countless ways in which to volunteer – chances are if you have a skill or a hobby, there is a way to share your passion with others through volunteering.
- Administrative/Office Work
- Arts (Music/Drama/Crafts)
- Teaching/Tutoring/Supporting Learning
- Youth Work
- Events and Stewarding
- Teaching/Tutoring/Supporting Learning
- Sports/Outdoor Activities/Coaching
Things Potential Volunteers should know!
- To be clear on what to do
- To know what is expected of you
- To be offered appropriate training
- To receive supervision and support
- To get something out of the work for yourself
- To know what to do if there is a problem
- To be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses
- To be made aware of disciplinary and grievance procedures
- To be informed about and play an active part in the organisation as a whole
- To be a member of and contribute to the Volunteer Support Committee
- To be able to say no and to leave without feeling guilty
- To respect and value the aims of the project/ group
- To be reliable and punctual and to give sufficient warning of absence
- To attend essential training and support sessions
- To have safe working conditions
- To respect confidentiality
- To leave when no longer enjoying the experience
- To be honest if there are problems
- ...... And remember the most important thing – enjoy your time volunteering
Organisations Responsibilities to Volunteers
- To ensure the volunteer experience is a rewarding one
- To define clear meaningful roles for volunteers
- To have policies and procedures in place for volunteers
- To supervise and provide support
- To inform volunteers of any legal liabilities
- To reimburse Volunteers for out of pocket expenses
- To empower volunteers to actively participate in the volunteer support committee
- To provide all necessary information to volunteers
- To look for certain qualities and skills in volunteers for specific tasks
- To ask for reliability and punctuality
- To ask for things to be done in a certain way
- To ask for commitment
- To draw up individual volunteer contracts
- To deal with disciplinary and grievance issues
- To ask the volunteer to leave if their involvement is hindering the organisation in achieving its goals
- To provide a safe working environment