The latest news from Westmeath Volunteer Centre

VOLUNTEER Registrations up 46% in 2008

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Young people more willing than ever to volunteer!

Volunteer Centres Ireland has recorded a 46% increase in the number of volunteers registered to volunteer in volunteer centres around the country, in comparison with the same month last year. Furthermore, over 60% of volunteers are thirty five and under.

Yvonne McKenna, CEO says “These figures are fantastic! Especially when set against the 2006 Census. The Census showed that one in four of all volunteers were in their forties, while those in their early twenties were least likely to volunteer. It's great to see that young people do want to get involved in their communities through volunteering and, more so, that Volunteer Centres are appealing to them as a means of finding volunteering opportunities.

An overwhelming number of volunteers cited “giving something back” as the reason they wanted to volunteer, followed by “wanting to do something in my community’ and “free-time”.

Over 4,000 volunteers registered with volunteer centres last year and the number is set to grow even more as new volunteer centres open their doors across the country. Volunteers placed by centres contributed an estimated 143,508 volunteer hours in 2007, or the equivalent of 70 full time staff over one year.

AIB Better Ireland Grants

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Please find below details about the AIB Better Ireland Programme.

They have contacted me asking for me to circulate the information.

They have expanded the programme this year which means many more organisations are eligible to apply: it used to be only for organisations working to alleviate poverty but now it includes working with children with physical, sensory and intell disabilities.

Group Recognition Day 2007

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The V'Oscars

This year, as a way of celebrating International Volunteer Day and the 1st Anniversary of  the establishment of Westmeath Volunteer Centre, It has been decided to recognise the groups and organisations in Westmeath who are made up of and work with volunteers.  Without your hard work and very existence, there would be no place for the volunteer and also, a lot of very important activities and functions would be lost to our communities. 

Sports clubs, social clubs, youth clubs and tidy towns to name a few would simply vanish and where would we be then?           

The Westmeath Volunteer Centre would like to recognise all of this work and we would appreciate it if you would fill in the nomination form with this letter and send it back in as soon as you can.  If you would like to attach any more info, please feel free to do so.           

The Categories in the recognition day are:

  • Community,
  • Older People,
  • Youth Work (8-25yrs) (Youth Clubs etc.),
  • Sports,
  • Environment and Heritage,
  • Disability,
  • Arts & Culture,
  • Children (Under 8’s) (Mother & Toddler Groups, Community Creches etc.)
  • and Other (Anything that dosen't fall into any of the other categories).             

We have listed below a couple of values below that might give you an idea as to what we see as important in a group but these are there to help you get an idea for what to put down on your nomination.             

The Values are:
  • Valuing Volunteers (How do your volunteers feel?  Do you appreciate them and how?),
  • Training (Do you avail of the many courses put on by the VEC, Sports Partnership, Community Development Board, Volunteer Centre or County Council or others?),
  • Organisational Skills (One important factor in any committee is keeping minutes and organising things well, how does your group feel you do?),
  • Networking/Partnerships (If there is something on in your community, does your group come along and give a hand?  Do you work with other groups in your area and share learnings and lessons?),
  • Public Awareness (Does the community know who you are and what you do?  How well do you publicise your achievements causes and events?),
  • Group Growth (How has your group grown and developed since its beginnings and what do you feel has been a factor to this?),
  • Innovative (Have you tried a unique approach to fundraising or something in your group that was never tried before that was fun?),
  • Equality and Diversity (Does your group cater for people of all ages, races, nationalities and needs?  Any good stories about their experiences since joining you?)            
These groups will be celebrated at a special family event in Bloomfield House Hotel on December the 9th . At this event, there will be face painting and fun for the kids but also a chance for you and other groups to meet each other and say hello.  You can even let other groups know about who you are and make new connections.  Finger food will be provided.  All Photos taken at the recognition day will be used to promote the work you do in our county.            
We really hope you can make it to this day and we look forward to celebrating our voluntary groups and organisations who work with volunteers.                                                                         
Kind Regards,                                                                                    
Ian O'Flynn


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Welcome to the Westmeath Volunteer Centre


At the Volunteer Centre you can...

  • Find out about volunteering opportunities without having to make a commitment.
  • Get information on hundreds of different volunteering opportunities.
  • Talk to someone on the how, why and where of volunteering.
  • Get ongoing support and advice if you want it.
  • We don't charge and we keep things confidential.

We also help organisations...

  • If you need volunteers we will try and source them for you.

  • We can visit you and help with any issues about taking on volunteers for the first time,
    or to review current procedures.

  • We provide a specialist training services for voluntary organisations on all apsects of volunteering.

  • We will come and talk to you about anything to do with volunteering, such as references, good practice, expenses ....and much more.

  • We also provide a Garda Vetting service for organisations that dont have garda vetting services of their own.

Who Will We Work With?


Westmeath Volunteer Centre will work with any not-for-profit organisation – this may include charities, community groups, co-operatives and statutory organisations such as health centres, schools, hospitals, etc. We may ask to see your constitution or set of rules to clarify this. We will not seek volunteers for individuals or for for-profit organisations.  Westmeath Volunteer Centre serves the needs of organisations operating within the boundaries of Westmeath.

If you would like to hear about some specific volunteering opportunities or if you would just like to hear more about the work of the centres, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Find Local Organisations on our map

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Member of Volunteer Ireland