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Dublin: 14 °C Saturday 25 May, 2019

Here's everything you need to know if you want to volunteer this Christmas

Interested in getting involved?

IF YOU DON’T volunteer regularly, then there’s a high chance that the idea of doing so crosses your mind more frequently as we approach the festive season.

shutterstock_1186639822 Source: Shutterstock/jokerpro

Many of us feel a surge of adrenaline as we jostle with one another to splash the cash in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and then instantly feel a pang of guilt as we haul our spoils past those less fortunate on the way home from our festive sprees.

So, it’s no real surprise that more and more of us are keen to give back as we reflect on the extravagance of the season. spoke to Frances Hayden of the Dublin City Volunteer Centre about everything you need to know if you want to get involved this year.

“We always see a spike in numbers interested in volunteering in the run up to, and over the Christmas period. It’s a lovely time of year to volunteer,” Frances told us.

vol1 Source: Shutterstock

So, what can you do?

Well, according to Frances, there’s no end to the ways you can give back this year.

Opportunities can vary; from donating food and clothing, delivering care packages, cooking meals, befriending or helping at Christmas events. 

“Christmas is an important fundraising time for a lot of charities, with carol singing, bag packing or a challenge like a Christmas Day swim,” she added.

When it comes to getting involved with charities, Frances explained that these tend to be short-term or once-off opportunities.

Elaborating on these opportunities, she highlighted two, although there are many to consider.

Depaul are inviting volunteers to help with Christmas mealtimes in their homeless hostels while Dublin Simon Community need fundraisers to support their upcoming Christmas Carolathon.

Here’s the thing though; given the season that’s in it, volunteering slots tend to fill up fast, so this is what you need to know.

  • I-Vol is the national database for volunteering opportunities which contains details of the Christmas roles being advertised by charities and community groups around the country.
  • You will need to register with your local Volunteer Centre. Then type ‘Christmas’ into the keyword box and click ‘search’. You will be matched to a role depending on your availability.
  • If you have a particular charity in mind which you’d like to work with, visit the site and contact them directly.

Here are some top tips to keep in mind while getting the ball rolling on your volunteering endeavour.

  • Do your research.
  • Apply sooner rather than later.
  • Be patient when waiting for a response!

And most importantly, well done on getting involved and giving back!

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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