Young People in Ireland want to Give Something Back!
New figures released in the first month of the year give insight into the make up of Irish volunteers and it seems that 70% of those registering to volunteer via their local Volunteer Centre are under 35 while 31% of volunteers are under 25. The figures released by Volunteer Centres Ireland (VCI) show that in Ireland more and more young people are contacting their local volunteer centre to get involved with their local communities.
The number one reason young people give for volunteering is that they want to ‘Give Something back’, followed by ‘gain or improve slills’. ‘Make a Difference’, ‘Free Time’ and ‘Want to Do Something for my Community’ also make the top 5 reasons young people are volunteering. While young people have mostly altruistic motivations to volunteer many of them are using volunteering to keep active and upskill during the downturn in the economy.
Indeed Volunteer Centres Ireland has seen a huge increase in the numbers of young people coming forward to volunteer during the last eighteen months with a more than 100% increase in the numbers of people volunteering overall.
The Chief Executive of VCI, Yvonne McKenna, says that the recession has been good for active citizenship and volunteering.
‘In part the explosion in active citizenship is down to the turn in Ireland’s economic circumstances as thousands of young people who have either lost their jobs or, indeed, cannot find work after graduating from second or third level education are being proactive and are seeking out fulfilling opportunities and the chance to learn skills that could lead to full-time employment.
‘However, other people are seizing the opportunity to show solidarity with their neighbours and communities by pitching in where necessary. This has been apparent by the numbers of people reaching out to the flood victims here in Ireland but also by the numbers of young people who have come forward with fundraising ideas for the people of Haïti’.