Definitions and Principles of Volunteering

Who is a volunteer?

Volunteers are people from all walks of life, all ages and stages. What they have in common is the desire to make a difference in their community – and in their own life – by giving of their time.

Volunteers are involved in virtually every aspect of society including health, education, social services, youth, sports and recreation, culture, the arts and the environment. Some volunteers give just one hour of time each week; others devote many hours. Volunteers are involved in once-off events, as well as ongoing activities. Some choose to volunteer out in the community, others are virtual volunteers and do their volunteering from the comfort of home. Volunteers can work on their own or with others, do hands-on work or volunteer at an administrative or leadership level. Volunteers play a vital role in Irish society. Across Ireland and in Kerry, volunteers are engaged in delivering services and programmes that improve and enhance the life of our communities. Volunteers are people just like you.

Definition of Volunteering

Volunteering is an activity which takes place through not for profit organisations or projects and is undertaken:

  • To be of benefit to the community and the volunteer.
  • Of the volunteers own free will and without coercion.
  • For no financial payment; and
  • In designated volunteer positions only.

Principles of Volunteering

  • Volunteering benefits the community and the volunteer.
  • Volunteer work is unpaid.
  • Volunteering is always a matter of choice.
  • Volunteering is not compulsorily undertaken to receive pensions or government allowances.
  • Volunteering is a legitimate way in which citizens can participate in the activities of their community.
  • Volunteering is a vehicle for individuals or groups to address human, environmental and social needs.
  • Volunteering is an activity performed in the not for profit sector only.
  • Volunteering is not a substitute for paid work.
  • Volunteers do not replace paid workers nor constitute a threat to the job security of paid workers.
  • Volunteering respects the rights, dignity and culture of others.
  • Volunteering promotes human rights and equality.
To find out more about volunteering and or to get involved in volunteering locally in Kerry contact Linda on 0667117966, email or drop into our offices with/without an appointment at 7 Maine Street, Tralee, Co Kerry.