The valuable work carried out by volunteers in County Mayo that so often goes unnoticed was highlighted during National Volunteering Week which took place this year from Monday 13th May to Sunday 19th May.
National Volunteering Week is the one week of the year when everyone in Ireland is encouraged to give volunteering a try so that everyone can learn that – even if it’s only for a minute, an hour, or a day – volunteering can make a big difference and be a lot of fun!
Many Mayo people got involved in specific projects this year. They included a thank you coffee morning at Castlebar Family Resource Centre and Claremorris Community Radio opened up their studios so that potential volunteers could look around and see the many different ways they could get involved.
Volunteers in Ballina planted a flower garden in Moy Valley Resources in Cathedral Road and The Jackie Clarke Collection highlighted their new volunteer programme.
Many National School children entered the Mayo Volunteer Centre photography competition, sponsored by Ballina Beverages, which asked children to photograph what volunteering meant to them.
These were then on display in Ballina Library for the week. The centre also saw an influx of online registrations to volunteer roles through the week.
National Volunteering Week 2013, which was supported by Garnier, saw the launch of a new database of volunteering opportunities, which currently includes 5,300 ways to volunteer, including many in Mayo.
The database can be accessed through the Volunteer Ireland website at www.volunteer.ie or a new mobile phone app, called I-VOL, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
People can search the database to find everything from one-off projects to short-term roles and on-going volunteering opportunities. The I-VOL database provides, for the first time, a nationwide database of volunteering opportunities, allowing volunteer-involving organisations to advertise available volunteering roles.