Pictured during National Volunteering Week at NUI Galway were (back row, l-r): Micheal Rourke GMIT; Donncha Foley, Volunteer Galway; Katie Hunt, GMIT; Fearghael Mac Aba, Volunteer Galway; Lisa McAteer, GMIT; and Bernie Donnellan, Galway County Council. Front row, l-r: Sam O’Neill, GMIT; Evelyn Moran, Galway Age Friendly; Lorraine Tansey, NUI Galway; and Joan Kavanagh, Galway Age Friendly.
May 21 2015 Posted: 09:57 IST

Last week Volunteer Galway, NUI Galway’s volunteer programme ALIVE, and GMIT joined forces to celebrate National Volunteering Week, encouraging people of all ages to think about how they can get more involved it their local community as a volunteer.

Research has shown that not only does volunteering have a positive impact on the local community, but volunteers themselves also benefit through acquiring new skills, increasing their employability and improving their mental health.

“The aim was to get as many people as possible volunteering. There are many ways to help out in your community and we can provide advice and support around this.” said Donncha Foley of Volunteer Galway, who has developed workshops for organisations seeking to take on volunteers.

Sam O’'Neill, GMIT Students Union President and Irish Heart Foundation volunteer, said: “It is fantastic to see so many students volunteering throughout Galway and beyond because of this initiative. They are being shown the value of volunteering, not just for themselves in terms of boosting their employability, but also the benefit it has to society as a whole. Volunteers may not be paid but the work they do throughout the year is priceless.”

To mark the 2015 National Volunteer Week, the Galway City and County Age Friendly Older Persons Council met with students from GMIT and NUI Galway. Joan Kavanagh Chairperson of Galway Age Friendly, said, “We have seen a great opportunity through volunteering for intergenerational collaboration across the city between all age groups committed to fostering a city committed to addressing social justice.”

The ALIVE programme at NUI Galway harness, support and reward student voluntary activity across the University, Galway city and wider communities to develop their own practical skills and civic awareness.

Volunteer Galway provides information and advice to people interested in volunteering, by advertising volunteer roles on behalf of community organisations and charities, and by helping members of the public to find suitable volunteer roles. Volunteer Galway also assists organisations in recruiting and managing volunteers.

-Ends-

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