IT experts urged to get involved in National Volunteer Week

Volunteering helps expand professional networks, develop skills and meet new contacts, says charity

Volunteer Ireland has updated its I-VOL online database where those interested in volunteering can register their skills and expertise. Photography: Conor Healy Photography

Volunteer Ireland has updated its I-VOL online database where those interested in volunteering can register their skills and expertise. Photography: Conor Healy Photography

Tue, Apr 22, 2014, 16:29

Volunteer Ireland is calling on people with IT skills to get involved with the 2014 National Volunteering Week.

“We’re looking for anything from helping a charity with a social media profile, to teaching an older person to use an iPad or computer,” said Phil Boughton from Volunteer Ireland.

The third annual National Volunteering Week takes place from May 12th-18th and seeks to highlight the value and impact of volunteering.

“Everybody’s got something to share, whether it’s a passion or skill,” said Mr Boughton, adding that volunteering can also be used by those who job hunting to increase their employability.

“It can be really valuable in expanding your professional network, meeting new contacts, developing your skills and getting professional experience,” he said.

Volunteer Ireland chief executive Yvonne McKenna also highlighted the importance of strong ‘people skills’ for those interested in becoming a volunteer.

“If you are a good people person, or have other soft or hard skills to share, see how you can connect with your community and volunteer this National Volunteering Week,” said Ms McKenna.

Volunteer Ireland has updated its I-VOL online database where those interested in volunteering can register their skills and expertise.

The majority of volunteers comes from the 16-35 year age bracket, accounting for 66 per cent of volunteers.

However, Mr Boughton wants all ages to get involved and hopes to see more than 15,000 volunteers sign up by the end of 2014. Over 5,000 volunteers have already signed up to take part this year.

Volunteering week is open to individuals and organisations around the country, and Mr Boughton says they have seen growing demand from companies looking to volunteer and offer employees a day’s paid leave to help a charity.

People are also encouraged to commit a random act of volunteering to get the ball rolling and become involved in volunteering activities.

“These simple acts, such as picking up a piece of litter or sharing your umbrella with someone, require little to no planning but can make a real difference,” according to the volunteering website.

According to Mr Boughton, “Volunteering can give you a powerful sense of wellbeing, makes you happy, and is great for meeting people, developing and sharing your skills. The benefits are countless.”

For more information visit: www.volunteer.ie