The first National Volunteering Strategy will be launched today by Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities.
The purpose of the 2021-2025 strategy is to recognise, support and promote the unique value and contribution volunteers make to Irish society.
Volunteering benefits large sectors of society in the areas of education, arts, heritage, education, health, sport and the socially marginalised.
Research has also shown that the act of volunteering has a positive impact on the health and well-being of the volunteer.
The strategy was produced in collaboration with the community and voluntary and business sectors and will provide a vision and road map for both volunteers and those organisations who benefit from the work of volunteers.
Launching the strategy, Minister O’Brien said:“Ireland has always had a long tradition of volunteering. The contribution of volunteering to our society has never been so much to the fore than during the response to Covid-19 over the last number of months.”
Acknowledging that today is International Volunteering Day, the Minister continued:
“I am also delighted to launch this strategy on International Volunteering Day, as the strategy includes specific actions to support ethical and skills-based international volunteering.”
The strategy contains 56 actions to be implemented over the next five years, with Government working in partnership with volunteers, volunteering bodies, the community and voluntary sector and the business and corporate community to deliver its objectives.
The Minister also announced, as a first step in implementing the strategy, that he has approved funding for a new volunteer reserve to be established to respond quickly to local community needs. Further details of this initiative will be announced in January 2021.
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