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Volunteering opportunities in youth work

This page is a one-‘start’-shop for anyone interested in volunteering in youth work. It brings together information on where you can find volunteering opportunities, what a prospective volunteer can expect and what will be expected of you, as well as support, advice, research and a wealth of free downloadable resources!

What is Youth Work?

The Youth Work Act 2001, defines youth work as: A planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young people through their voluntary involvement, and which is complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education… find out more >>

What is the National Youth Council of Ireland?

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is the representative body for national voluntary youth work organisations in Ireland. NYCI is not a youth work service provider but represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people... find out more>>

What is the role of the volunteer in Youth Work?

Youth organisations continue to be volunteer-led and voluntary youth leaders provide a very high percentage of direct work with young people through youth clubs, youth projects, youth services and youth information services. The role of the volunteer is central to youth work provision in Ireland.

Find volunteering opportunities in Youth Work: has a comprehensive database of volunteering opportunities which you can search here >>

Remember to choose your local volunteer centre and select the category ‘Youth/Children’

What supports can a volunteer expect from youth work organisations?

NYCI resources for volunteers and organizations involving volunteers:


  • Volunteering & volunteer support in the youth sector

Resource pack outlining support available.
Download >>


  • Starting Out

The National Induction Training Programme for Volunteers engaged in Youth Work Practice.
Download >>


  • Child Protection

Individuals who volunteer with young people should expect to undergo Garda Vetting >>
Download the Information Pack on the Garda Vetting Consortium>>


  • NYCI Report: Lending a Hand - Young People and Volunteering in Ireland

The first comprehensive report on young people’s experience of and attitude towards volunteering in Ireland. The results provide a timely insight into the untapped potential of youth volunteering and the barriers many young people still face.
Download >>

  • NYCI Policy on Volunteering

The NYCI policy on volunteering is the first formal step in the development of a support programme that will assist voluntary youth work organisations in the recruitment and retention of volunteers.

Find out more:

If you are interested in learning more about a specific area of youth work, more information is available from the NYCI work areas below:

Links to further information:

  • NYCI member organisations are listed here. Many have branches and clubs all over Ireland.
  • Contact your local Education and Training Board and get in touch with the Youth Officer