Voluntary work is a great way to gain experience and makes a valued contribution to society. It is also considered a big boost to a CV. People from all walks of life and of all ages become volunteers and they are involved in almost every aspect of community life from health, education and social services to youth, environment, the arts etc.
If you would like to become a volunteer but aren’t sure what you would like to do, thinking about why you want to do it can be helpful in focusing on the area and type of volunteering you would like to undertake.
There are many opportunities both in Ireland and abroad.
Volunteer Ireland maintain a database of volunteering opportunities across the country. http://www.volunteer.ie/
Local Volunteer Centres: http://www.volunteer.ie/about/volunteer-centres
Volunteering abroad is a great opportunity to gain experience in a different culture and learn a new language.
Erasmus+ is an EU programme for education, training, youth and sport covering the period 2014-2020. Over the course of the programme, more than 4 million people will receive support to study, train, work or volunteer abroad.
The European Voluntary Scheme (EVS) allows young people aged 17-30 to take part in voluntary work for up to 12 months in another country within or outside of the European Union. Volunteers are given the opportunity to work with a wide range of organisations from education and social care to ICT, media, culture, development and more.
Full details of the EVS and the application deadlines are available at
Database of volunteering opportunities: http://europa.eu/youth/vp/opportunity_list
Database of accredited EVS organisations: http://europa.eu/youth/evs_database_en
Volunteers’ stories: http://europa.eu/youth/EU/voluntary-activities/your-stories_en
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme promotes volunteering in support of peace and development worldwide. There are a variety of volunteering options, including short-term assignments (under 3 months) and online volunteering. Many volunteers have diverse professional and technical backgrounds although there particular areas of expertise that are frequently in demand. Full details are available on the UNV website.