We thought we would take a moment and catch our breath to update you with what is going on at the Sligo Volunteer Centre as well as what is occurring behind the scenes.

As many of you know, we are part of a local agency response lead by Sligo County Council through the Sligo COVID-19 Community Response Forum. One aspect of this forum is to operate a helpline which people in need of help with grocery deliveries etc. can call for assistance. These calls are directed to existing community networks. In the true spirit of Ireland, there are more calls from people with offers to help than help is required! What does this mean? It means that most people in need of assistance are connected to their neighbours and community and are seeking help informally. This is fantastic! 

Many of you are looking for ways to volunteer to keep occupied and busy and contribute to community causes. Thank you! Please bear in mind that many groups are not operating at the moment. But be patient! This will change and our need for volunteers will change too.

Sligo Volunteer Centre continues to work with community groups to assess any new needs that have arisen and to help address any gaps they may be experiencing as a result of COVID-19. Many organisations within our existing Sligo network need to put reserve panels of volunteers in place in case they experience an increased demand for assistance or if volunteers suddenly become unavailable. If you are a community group in need of volunteers, do not hesitate to get in touch. 

We have some important information for charities and community groups seeking funding.

Many charities and community groups are busy right now offering important services. It is fantastic to see different funding opportunities open for charities in response to the impact of COVID-19! We have assembled a panel of experienced grant writers ready to offer advice and time to charities and community groups who seek research funding opportunities and assistance with the writing of grant proposals. 

We also have volunteers willing to help out around technical support and navigating our new online world, as well as volunteers who can provide online wellness sessions for staff and volunteers throughout the month of May to tie in with National Workplace Wellbeing Day on 1st May. If you would like to avail of any of this support, contact us at info@volunteersligo.ie.

What is the status of longer-term volunteer opportunities in Sligo?

Our online volunteering database I-VOL shows that most volunteering options in Sligo seek people to volunteer when their services resume. Sadly, most organisations are not sure when this will be. If you are interested in longer-term volunteering, please register and browse the listings there (https://www.i-vol.ie/). We will be working on increasing the offer around virtual and volunteer-from-home opportunities so please check it out.

We expect that the nature of volunteering will evolve over the coming weeks and months. We have already seen some new and innovative ways to volunteer. See our recent blog post dated 27 April 2020 for examples and opportunities.

Please continue to remain at home, stay safe and be positive. We will get through this!