This week is National Volunteering Week in Ireland. This year the theme is ‘thinking differently about volunteering’.
I’ve volunteered for around 10 years now. I really want to highlight how important volunteering is both for the volunteer and the organisations. To speak from my own experience I’ve volunteered in a few different places and they’ve all been enjoyable in their own way.
It’s great to be able to give something back to the community but it’s not just that. As a ‘blow-in’ I found it very hard to get to know people in Sligo. Becoming a volunteer helped me get back out mixing with people. It’s been and enormous benefit to me. Volunteering gave me confidence and made me realise there are some things that I’m pretty good at.
In the past I’ve always volunteered with the things I have experience in such as social media and office work. My last volunteering role changed this completely, I ended up becoming a barista! The village I live in opened up a pop-up coffee shop and they needed volunteers. About 20 of us joined in and between us we’ve set up and run a successful cafe for the last few months. So I completely agree with the ‘thinking differently about volunteering’. I’ve had the most rewarding time being involved in the cafe and loved every minute of it!
So why not volunteer in something you wouldn’t normally do? You’d be surprised what you can achieve. Sligo Volunteer Centre is a ‘one stop shop’ for volunteers. If you’d like to find out about the many roles available you can find them here. Even if you just have a couple of hours a week to spare they would love to hear from you. Happy volunteering!