Volunteering in Ireland
There are up to 25,000 local and national voluntary organisations in Ireland employing the equivalent of 65,000 full-time workers. According to the Centre for Non-Profit Management, Trinity College, Dublin over 1.57m people volunteer a total of over 465,625 hours per year. The total estimated contribution of the sector to the Irish economy is €2.5 billion annually.
The value of volunteering
A critical aspect of quality of life for older people is how they view and see themselves. A large body of literature documents the positive benefits of volunteerism in terms of increased psychological well-being. Voluntary work is unpaid work or service done for other people. It can be a way to feel useful and fulfilled and there is good evidence that volunteering can help you live longer and enjoy life more.
What is right for you?
Before starting to look for voluntary work, it is a good idea to put a shape on what you might do. Answering the following questions may be helpful:
What do you enjoy doing?
You may have a hobby or expertise you wish to develop or share. Do you prefer working on your own, or as part of a team, out there meeting people or more in the background?
How much time do you want to give?
Don’t overload yourself, rather allocate an amount of time. You can always do more if you find you want to.
How do you know if the work will suit you?
When contacting an organisation, ask for a job description of what is involved. What kind of support will you have? Who will you work with? Do you need training, and is it available?
Would you like to work with a particular group?
Most of Third Age's work is with and for older people and we have intergenerational projects also. If you feel a particular empathy for this group, we could suit each other very well.