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Press Release

Press Release
News Release Issued by Volunteer Ireland
Monday, April 30, 2012.
 
Dubliners rallied for first National Volunteering Week
 
97% in Dublin survey say Volunteering makes them happier
 
People across Dublin were today rallied to get involved in Ireland’s first National Volunteering Week which takes place from May 14 – 20.
 
Last year more than 10,000 volunteers participated in hundreds of charity and community projects across the country on National Day of Volunteering. 
 
Following five successful National Day of Volunteering campaigns, this year the campaign is being expanded to seven days, making it easier for volunteers, organisations and companies to get involved. 
 
Research carried out by Volunteer Ireland in advance of National Volunteering Week (NVW) has found that being involved in volunteering makes people happier. Among the Dublin volunteers surveyed 97% responded that ‘volunteering makes them a happier person’, which was just slightly below the nationwide response of 98%.
 
The research also pointed to a strong sense of community in Dublin as the most common reasons for people to volunteer were to:
- Help people (67%)
- Contribute to the community (59%)
- Add experience to CV (37%)
- Keep active (36%)
- Occupy spare time (34%)
- Find work through volunteering (24%) and
- Develop contacts (21%).
 
"National Volunteering Week is being co-ordinated nationally by Volunteer Ireland and delivered across the City South area by Dublin City South Volunteer Centre, www.volunteerdublincitysouth.ie.
 
The flagship national project for NVW 2012 is a National Inland Waterways Clean up, with local events organised across Dublin. In the Dublin City South area there will be a canal clean up at Sally’s Bridge in addiiton to other activities people can join. The centre would love to hear from volunteer photograhers or videographers who could capture events as they unfold during the week. 
 
Edwina Dewart, manager of the volunteer centre, said that the survey was reflective of a growing particpiation in volunteering in Ireland and she highlighted evidence in the survey of differing reasons for volunteering among older and younger people.
 
“59% of people in Dublin said they beileved there is a difference between why younger people (aged 14-50) and older people (50+) volunteer. Also among those in the city and county whose employment had been negativly effected by the recession 68% said it made them more likely to volunteer.
 
“The responses do show a pattern that older people were most likely to volunter in order to stay active and socially engaged, while there was a greater emphasis among younger people on volunteering as a way of improving employment propects in the current recessionary climate.” 
 
Edwina encouraged as many people as possible get involved in National Volunteering Week: “If it’s only for a minute, an hour, or a day – volunteering is a wonderful way to connect with your community, meet new people and make a real difference.”
 
To get involved in NVW 2012 go to www.volunteer.ie where you can:
 
1. Look up projects in your area and register to get involved.
2. Develop your own project and register it.
3. Participate in the flagship project – A National Inland Waterways Clean Up. 
4. Check out the list of 30 ‘Random Acts of Volunteering’ examples to get some inspiration.
 
National Volunteering Week is being supported by Irish Rail.
 
 
Further Information
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.
Phil Boughton: Volunteer Ireland: (085) 742 7017.
Edwina Dewart: Dublin City South Volunteer Centre (086) 174 1317
 
 
About Volunteer Ireland
Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development agency and a representative body for all local Volunteer Centres in Ireland. Volunteer Ireland’s vision is for an Irish society in which everyone who wants to has access to meaningful volunteering opportunities and where the contribution of volunteering is valued and recognised as an intrinsic component of active citizenship.