New volunteer centre opening for Roscommon

It was announced today (Monday) that Roscommon's first volunteer centre is opening at The Square, in Roscommon town, in order to help match people willing to give their time with groups that are seeking volunteers.

With today marking the start of National Volunteering Week, Joe O'Brien, the Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, announced the opening of the Roscommon centre along with six others serving Kilkenny, Leitrim, Laois, Offaly, Waterford and Wexford.

The Offaly centre is located at Bury Quay in Tullamore. The opening of these new centres means there is now a volunteer centre operating in every county.

The centres are supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development and provide a placement service between individuals and groups who want to volunteer and organisations that are seeking to involve volunteers.

They also provide training, Garda vetting, advice and supports to volunteer organisations.

Launching the new Volunteer Centres, Minister O'Brien said: "With the opening of these seven new centres throughout National Volunteering Week, we are further strengthening our volunteering infrastructure across the country and this will provide invaluable support to volunteers and volunteering activity in our communities.

"As we know, the most effective volunteering doesn't happen by accident and the correct infrastructure combined with strong volunteer management can help ensure that volunteer efforts are maximised across our communities.

"I would like to acknowledge and thank Volunteer Ireland for their support in this project and to sincerely thank the Boards and staff of the new Volunteer Centres who have worked so hard to open their doors."

The opening of the new centres was described as "momentous" by William Earley, the Chair of Volunteer Ireland.

"This is a momentous day for volunteering in Ireland. We are lucky to have a strong culture of volunteering in this country, but it doesn't happen in a vacuum," he said.

"The supports provided by Volunteer Centres to both volunteers and organisations alike from referral and training to Garda vetting will be hugely beneficial to these counties.

"Volunteer Ireland were delighted to play an integral role in the establishment and development of these Volunteer Centres, and we look forward to continuing our work with them and the wider network of Volunteer Centres across the country to support, advocate for and celebrate volunteering in Ireland."

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