Volunteers across Ireland are the heart and soul of youth work – they give young people someone to rely on through tough times and help them find their way in the world. Find out more about what’s involved now.
Q: Do you need lots of free time to volunteer? Can I get involved even if I only have very limited time?
A: We know that life can be really busy – between work, caring responsibilities and myriad other things, life is hectic. Adding something like volunteering can seem impossible when your time is squeezed. But volunteers come in all forms! You can find volunteering opportunities to suit the time you have. Whether it’s volunteering to share specific skills from your home, taking on bite-sized volunteering work or working on a time-bound project, there are lots of ways to get involved based on the time you have available. Find out more over at Volunteer Ireland.
Q: I don’t have any experience in volunteering. Is it ok to volunteer as a beginner?
A: You don’t need to have experience in volunteering to get started. Depending on the volunteer opportunities in your local youth organisations, there’s plenty of support and training available to help you when you take on your exciting new role. The youth project/ group/ club will provide induction training when you first start and after that will provide the specific training and support you need for the role you take on. Find out more about where to start and your rights as a volunteer now.
Q: Do I need to be Garda vetted to work with young people?
A: If you’re interested in working directly with children or young people you will be required to undergo Garda Vetting. Whether you need to complete Garda Vetting depends on the type of role you’re volunteering for. For example, some skills based roles like web development or admin support where you won’t have contact with young people may not require vetting. The organisation you’re volunteering with will make this decision based on their Garda Vetting policy which considers the current laws governing vetting. They’ll also provide you with child protection training to support your volunteer work with young people. Learn more about Garda Vetting rules and what’s involved in the vetting process.
Q: What sorts of organisations offer roles volunteering with young people?
A: There are a lot of different types of organisations who rely on volunteers to support and drive their youth work across different sectors including arts, education, charity and human rights, politics, youth groups and local youth services, among others. We have information about members of the National Youth Council of Ireland to give you an idea of the kinds of organisations that offer opportunities to volunteer with young people, and there are many smaller organisations working locally across the country who need people like you to support their life-changing work.