National Volunteering Week 2020’s programme was launched Monday, September 7th with a focus on thanking volunteers across the country and supporting their health and well-being. Representatives from Aware, ALONE, Irish Cancer Society and Women’s Aid joined Volunteer Ireland to initiate the campaign and say thank you to all volunteers who have given so much. National Volunteering Week will run from the 21st to the 27th of September 2020. The programmes of events are run by Volunteer Ireland and the network of Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services.
Ciara Herity, Sligo Volunteer Centre Manager comments, “Sligo volunteers do so much for our community every day, and in particular, during the current pandemic volunteers have been unbelievable. This is our opportunity to give acknowledge the extraordinary people who give so much for others. We want volunteers across County Sligo to set aside some time to do something for themselves during National Volunteering Week. We have organised several free events running throughout the week from chair yoga classes to meet up coffee breaks to online chats with several local volunteer-involving organisations currently in need of volunteers. Above all, we want to thank each and every volunteer for all that they do. We would also encourage anyone that has been impacted by a volunteer to take a moment to express their thanks.”
Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, remarked, “The COVID-19 crisis has presented a challenge like nothing we have seen before and volunteers have been working tirelessly since the very beginning of this pandemic. The support that volunteers have provided through these critical and uncertain times has clearly shown how much they are the backbone of our communities. During National Volunteering Week, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of the volunteers around the country. Remember to take time for yourself this week, your health and well-being are just as important as those you are caring for.”
We also encourage volunteers to take stock of their own mental health and well-being as living and volunteering throughout a pandemic can be challenging. We are delighted to partner once again with Healthy Ireland who shares our vision of healthy, sustainable communities.
Head of Health and Well-being at the Department of Health, Kate O’Flaherty commented, “Volunteering has a critical role to play in supporting healthy, resilient communities. Volunteers have been an integral part of the response to COVID-19 and it is essential that they take time to focus on their own health and well-being during these challenging times and the months ahead. We are delighted to partner with National Volunteering Week again this year and say thank you to volunteers in communities across the country.”