Valuing the community spirit of Kerry's Volunteers

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In Kerry Volunteer Centre we know of many many Volunteers across Kerry that are making their neighbourhoods safer and healthier. It is important that we value the community spirit as epitomised by hundreds of volunteer involved with Community Alert, Civil Defence, Inshore Rescue, Mountain Rescue or First Responder schemes. There are a raft of new and long established volunteer led groups stretching from Barraduff to Ballybunion, Tralee to Kenmare that are deserving of a acknowledgment, recognition and appreciation

Volunteering at University Hospital Kerry #NVW2016

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All week we have been encouraging you to Consider Volunteering,  today the final day of National Volunteering Week 2016 we wished to share with you an insight into how Volunteers are making a real difference in the every day life and living in Kerry

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IT’S a small team that’s working well and making a big difference, that’s the message this week from University Hospital Kerry Volunteer Co-ordinator Nollaig Barry.The volunteer programme at the hospital was initiated in 2012 to support the Care of the Elderly facility which was later transferred to the Tralee Community Nursing Home in Killerisk. Since then it has grown into an integral part of life in the hospital.

“At the initial stage we looked at taking on just two or three ‘Befrienders’ to support patients. Once we saw the success of that we looked at other ways volunteers could help and that is how our ‘Meet and Greet’ initiative came about ,” Nollaig explained.

It’s about making volunteering work for you and your schedule

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John Turtington shares his volunteering story as part of our National Volunteering Week 2016 #NVW2016 Consider Volunteering Campaign

THERE is sometimes a worry among prospective and new volunteer recruits that volunteering means you have to give up all your free time. But retired volunteer is John Turtington is proof that you have volunteer and also have a busy social life. John registered with the Kerry Volunteer Centre in 2009 and has been involved over the years in a range of projects from youth clubs and drama right through to his current involvement with University Hospital Kerry.

Retired? Maybe it’s your time to volunteer

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Bill Holland shares his volunteering story as part of our National Volunteering Week 2016 #NVW2016 Consider Volunteering Campaign

LEAVING your job is a major milestone in most people’s lives, but these days active retirees want to do more with their golden years than do the garden and take up bingo.

With huge life and professional skills to offer retirees are becoming the life blood of voluntary groups, sporting organisations and charities across Kerry.

Consider Volunteering Campaign Launched for #NVW2016

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KerryVolunteer In advance of the annual kick-off of National Volunteering Week, #NVW2016, in Kerry on Monday Kerry Volunteer Centre in conjunction with Moira Murell, Chief Executive Officer of Kerry County Council have launched the Consider Volunteering Campaign to support people in Kerry who are experiencing unemployment to think differently about volunteering on the pathway to employment.

Speaking at the launch of the Consider Volunteering Campaign Moira Murrell, Chief Executive of Kerry County Council said the Council was delighted to support National Volunteering week and that the Council acknowledges the immense contribution of volunteers to the social fabric of the county.

‘The Consider Volunteering Campaign speaks directly to unemployed people in Kerry, it highlights the significant personal benefits that they can gain from volunteering locally and tackles the real and perceived barriers to volunteering that exists’ explained the Volunteer Centre Manager, Geraldine Sheehan. In a time where local job opportunities are scarce Volunteering can be an ideal way for many to keep their skill sets sharp, retain and build self-confidence, keep active, sustain emotional wellbeing, whilst making a valuable contribution to the community.

Consider Volunteering, think of it as an opportunity to do what you love!

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Mary Murphy min min 2Mary Murphy shares her volunteering story as part of our National Volunteering Week 2016 #NVW2016 Consider Volunteering Campaign

WHEN most of us consider volunteering it’s normally to do something for others and give something back. Few of us consider the possibility of really gaining from it ourselves. The theme of National Volunteering Week 2016, May 16-22,  is ‘Think Differently About Volunteering” and that is just what Mary Murphy did when she considered volunteering and chose to get involved.

Having worked as a journalist for over a decade Mary, from Killarney, was made redundant back in 2011 and started the long process of changing careers away from a job that she loved to do to something with better job prospects.

“For me volunteering means that I didn’t have to completely give up on a job I loved, even though I’m not a journalist anymore I can still write and I can still make a difference. It really is the best of both worlds,” Mary recommended.

Consider Volunteering! Give it a lash, the craic is mighty

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Fionnan min 2Fionnán Fitzgerald shares his volunteering story as part of our National Volunteering Week 2016 #NVW2016 Consider Volunteering Campaign.

SIGNING up to sacrifice hours of your precious free time for the greater good is unlikely to get most people queuing up to volunteer, but what most potential volunteers don’t realise is just how much fun it can be. For Fionnán Fitzgerald it’s the craic and camaraderie that are key to a good volunteering experience.

A secondary school teacher , Fionnán first got involved in volunteering when a Community Alert scheme was set up in Ballymacelligott after an attack on the local Parish Priest. Overcome with a desire to do something about it, he signed up as Secretary and hasn’t looked back since- taking the lead in an innovative and hugely successful text alert system that is the envy of groups around Ireland.

“Being involved with something from the beginning gives a source or pride, and you learn as you go along and once you’ve got a supportive group behind you who understand you, you will stick at it.”