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Spring Organisational Newsletter 2018

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Welcome to our Spring Newsletter. We hope this finds you all well. Please read below about the important events that are happening over the coming months and have a read of our Annual Report for 2017.



Volunteer Managers Forum

ProfessionalsThe following dates have been selected for the Volunteer Manager's Forum:
21st March, 6th June and 3rd of October 2018 at 11am. The Venue is to be advised.
The Volunteer Managers Forum is an opportunity to meet with other volunteer managers, paid and unpaid, to get support and discuss topics affecting those who manage volunteers.
Please confirm your attendance by contacting me by email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or phone: 087 7594770



New General Data Protection Regulations May 2018


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on the 25th May 2018, replacing the existing data protection framework under the EU Data Protection Directive.





The DPC has launched a GDPR-specific website with guidance to help individuals and organisations become more aware of their enhanced rights and responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation.  


The DPC has also prepared an introductory document for organisations to help them as they transition to GDPR: “The GDPR and You”. This document lists 12 steps which organisations should take in order to be GDPR ready by 25 May 2018. It should be noted that the guide is not an exhaustive list and organisations should ensure that their preparations take account of all actions required to bring them into compliance with the new law.


For guidance on whether your organisation needs to appoint a Data Protection Officer, and how to ensure that your DPO is adequately resourced for the role, see the DPC’s Guidance on appropriate Qualifications for Data Protection Officers (GDPR).



Awareness Activities


Information about the DPC’s awareness raising activities and outreach engagements over the coming months can be found at GDPR Awareness Raising Activities.



Welcome to new Volunteer Co-ordinator Emily Conor at the ISPCA


Capture 2On the 28th Jan 2018, many volunteers came to say Farewell to Kelley Hynes who had been with the ISPCA for thirteen years as Animal Care Assistant and more recently Volunteer Co-ordinator with the ISPCA. We wish the new Volunteer Co-ordinator, Emily every success for the future in managing the Volunteer Program with the ISPCA. The ISPCA have over sixty volunteers involved in the care of animals and without the Volunteers they would not be able to successfully rescue and rehome so many animals.



Longford Volunteer Centre Celebrates 10 years Anniversary


Longford Volunteer Centre celebrated its tenth year in operation at International Volunteer Day (IVD) December 5th. IVD is an observance day designated by the United Nations since 1985 and offers an opportunity for volunteers and organisations to celebrate the efforts that they make to Irish society day in and day out. Annually, Longford Volunteer Centre marks this day with a volunteer recognition event – our way of saying thanks to all the volunteers who give the greatest of all resources – time – to help out at different events in Longford. 


Thank you all for your continued support and co-operation during 2017, and we look forward to working with you in 2018! 
Please click here to read our Annual Report for 2017. If you require any help or assistance with Volunteer Management or Recruitment, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Best Regards,

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.

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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


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.