Voluntary work is a good way to learn new skills, gain work experience and get involved in your local community.
You may do some unpaid work as a volunteer and keep your social welfare payment. If you want to do voluntary work, you must first get permission from a Deciding Officer at your Social Welfare Local Office. You must continue to satisfy the conditions of your jobseeker’s payment. You must apply under the voluntary work option before you start any voluntary work.
To apply, fill in application form (VW1), which is available from your Social Welfare Local Office.
Volunteering and Your CV
The value of the experience of volunteering and what it brings to your CV is a great reason to volunteer. As a way of getting a start on a particular career path, volunteering is a great way to get experience. It often becomes a foot in the door into the sector and it will most certainly help those interested to gain specific knowledge and understanding of a given organisation. People often gain paid employment as a result of volunteering.
Another big advantage of volunteering is skill set – volunteering strengthens your skill set and equips you for the world of work – people skills; communication skills; team building skills; practical skills - all can be developed by volunteering.
Finding Voluntary Work
Many organisations are dependant on the commitment of Volunteers to sustain their services. In particular, within the community and voluntary sector volunteering is about giving, contributing, and helping other individuals and the community at large. Over 63,000 full-time and part-time staff are employed in the community and voluntary sector, but it might be a surprise to learn that volunteers provide the equivalent work of a further 31,000 people!
So, if you have a particular interest in a charity or organiation you can contact them to see if they recruit Volunteers. Also, there are agencies that have lists of Volunteer opportunities on their websites including:
This is the National Volunteer Development Agency and a support body for over 20 Volunteer Centres in Ireland.
Activelink.ie is an online network for Irish community and non-profit organisations. They provide information on jobs, tenders, volunteering, events, fundraising, training, publications and funding in these sectors.
There are incredible openings in a wide breadth of countries around the world for a whole range of skills and roles. The world of volunteering is a lot more diverse and vibrant than people realise.