ARE YOU A VOLUNTEER?

register-to-volunteer-now search-for-opportunities

News

Select a news topic from the list below, then select a news article to read.

Deadline for Retrospective Garda Vetting extended to April 30th 2018

Department of Justice and Equality has advised us that the deadline date for submission of vetting applications in accordance with Section 21 of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012 to 2016 (Retrospective Vetting ) has been changed from the 31st December 2017 to the 30th April 2018. 

 

 

To clarify, a new deadline of the 30th April 2018 has been given by the Department of Justice and Equality for the submission of Retrospective Vetting Applications for all relevant organisations.

gardaí want to make sure that everyone that needs to be vetted to work with children or vulnerable people complies with the process.

Since April 2016 legislation has made it mandatory for people conducting relevant work to be vetted.

Anyone whose work, or voluntary activity, consists mainly of the person having access to children or vulnerable adults is required to be vetted.

People who help out on an occasional basis do not fall under the act and are not required to be vetted.

 

The vetting bureau has a number of compliance officers who carry out unannounced visits of businesses and organisations to ensure the law is being followed.

Retrospective vetting

“There is a cohort of persons who were employed in relevant work before the act commenced and this is the cohort to whom retrospective vetting applies,” Garda Superintendent Sarah Meyler explained.

Retrospective vetting can take place until the end of April 2018, after which the person will be committing an offence if they haven’t engaged with the process.

The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) acts stipulate a range of penalties for failing to comply.

These penalties can include fines of up to €10,000 and five years in prison.

“We are appealing to organisations, those who maybe haven’t started their plan to move their retrospective vettings on, that they would do so now because that deadline is looming,” Superintendent Meyler continued.

ISPCA - Organisational Case Study

Hally berry and tracy cropThe ISPCA has been established in Ireland since 1949 and the National Animal Centre, Keenagh, Co. Longford has been established since 2002. This centre is the Head Office of the ISPCA and is set on 89 acres of land. The ISPCA mission statement is to Prevent Cruelty to animals,  to promote animal welfare and to relieve animal suffering in Ireland. The ISPCA follows the 3 R's which is Rescue, Rehabilitate and Rehome.

 The National Animal Centre depends heavily on our volunteers to help with the rehabilitation of the animals in our care which can amount to over 170 animals. With very limited staff we simply could not give the animals their individual attention they need without our dedicated volunteer team. The ISPCA looks after Equines, Canines, Felines, Small mammals and Wildlife, with can be only 3 to 4 members of staff on we simply can't look after it all plus the rehabilitation work. Volunteers are given the choice on when they wish to volunteer and which area depending on their experience level.

kate Myley re size

 

The ISPCA train up all our volunteers that wish to get more involved, during each year we do training in horses, donkeys - through The Donkey Sanctuary, dog training, working with cats and wildlife training. The majority of our current 70 volunteers we can depend on them when we are short staffed and we need a volunteer to do an area on their own or with other volunteers. Our rehoming, especially in kennels, has increased due to the animals getting more individual attention. Every single one of them are amazing!

 In 2016 volunteers gave the ISPCA National Animal Centre 7,266 hours to us which amounted to 64388.4 euro. 

The Benefits of the involvement of Volunteers to Ballymahon Convent and Day Care Centre

Convent House Day Centre

Ballymahon

IMG 0431Background to the service provided

There are over 750 people aged over 60 years old living in  Ballymahon and the surrounding areas. Many of these citizens  would not experience  having any contact with other people on a daily basis if  our service did not exist. Throughout  2016 the centre   catered for an average of more than 120 clients per week and we believe this number will increase in  2017.

The centre provides a warm comfortable and inviting base for our clients to meet each other and to engage in various social activities as well as availing of a hot meal.

Elderly persons in the Ballymahon and catchment area are no longer  isolated and benefit from meeting people on a daily basis. As well as receiving a hot daily meal, those attending will have access to various services and will have the opportunity to meet regularly with the Public Health nurse. A core benefit  is the social interaction, which helps people to ensure that those attending will live independently for as long as possible and gain self-confidence.

 

 

IMG 0412Why volunteers are involved:

The centre is partly funded by the HSE which funds 2 staff members and utility bills. The centre cannot operate with just the above so it is vital that volunteers assist with the running of the centre. Each volunteer bring their individual qualities and skills tailored to suit the clients’ needs. This in turn improves the daily running of the centre and gives the volunteers an opportunity to develop their confidence and be able to put their expertise into practice. The volunteers assist with the preparation of meals, help organise daily activities with the staff and engage with the clients by talking and helping them when required.

All of this could not happen without the help of the Volunteers and the life and the vitality they bring to the centre and its clients is invaluable. They help create a friendly atmosphere in the centre.

 

The feedback from the clients regarding the volunteers is always very positive and they play a very important role within the organisation. The centre would not run as efficiently if that option to have volunteers was not made available to our organisation. 

Profile of one of our Volunteers

 Volunteer: Francesca Pawelczyk

  Francesca Pawelczyk Volunteer Centre

 

1.     Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your background?

Hi, my name is Francesca. I’ve been happily resident in Longford for thirteen years, being originally from Dublin.

2.     What attracted you to volunteering?

I was attracted to volunteering for both altruistic and selfish reasons. Most people are aware that charities rely heavily on volunteers. I was interested in using my skill set to provide support for charities that have a personal affiliation; while also allowing myself the opportunity of learning new information and skills, social interaction within my local community, and rebuilding self-confidence.

3.     What does volunteering mean to you?

Volunteering has granted me the opportunity of providing support to charities that are of particular importance to me. It has given me the opportunity to meet like minded people; to engage with members of the public; to utilise and expand my skill set; to appreciate the difficult task that charity employees face (in their given areas); and to be extremely grateful to those who choose to work within the charity sector.

4.     Tell me about your current role or about past roles that you have undertaken?

Currently I volunteer on a weekly basis for the ISPCA at the National Animal Centre in Longford. You will find me either in the cattery or the kennels, where I will be providing support to the animal care assistant on duty. However, I have also provided administration support for the office staff, been on rescue runs, and helped with the expansion of the woodland walk.

The other charity I volunteer for is Pieta House. This is generally on an annual basis for the Darkness into Light event, though I have been involved in their bag packing days.

5.     How has volunteering impacted on your mental health/well-being/employability etc?

 

Volunteering has without a doubt had a positive impact on my mental health and well-being. It has allowed me to rebuild my confidence in a structured but relaxed environment. It has offered me an interesting, and sometimes challenging, outlet. I wholeheartedly recommend engaging in volunteering; especially for people who may need to challenge themselves while managing mental health issues