Volunteer Centres Support New Volunteers to Get on Board with Charities and Community Groups

On Tuesday 23rd October, Dublin Volunteer Centres brought charities and community groups together with civic-minded volunteers to strengthen governance in the sector.

The event – Get On Board! – was held at Wynn’s Hotel on Lower Abbey Street and is part of the TrustIE programme. Get on Board! is the culmination of a year’s work across Dublin, Cork and Galway. As part of the programme, 14 free training sessions were organised for volunteers and organisations to get them board-ready.

Fifty volunteers attended on Tuesday, hoping to find their perfect match. The Volunteer Centres organising the event – Dublin City, South Dublin County, Fingal and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown – will also follow up with the additional pool of volunteers, who are interested, but unable to attend on the night.

Edwina Dewart, Manager of Dublin City Volunteer Centre, said: “Tuesday’s event was the start of the matching process. We’re delighted that TrustIE succeeded in supporting local charities from all over Dublin to create 33 board roles. As well as getting to promote their roles on the night, they will now also be featured on other channels including I-VOL, the national volunteer database, and the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace, ensuring maximum exposure.”

Nina Arwitz, CEO of Volunteer Ireland and Chair of the Governance Code Working Group, spoke on the importance of governance and the impact that trustees can have on local charities. This was followed by a panel of trustees from four different charities who spoke about their experience. As one attendee noted, “The event was great because it really helped to break the ice and break down what volunteering on a board involves.”

Tricia Nolan, Manager of South Dublin County Volunteer Centre, said: “With increasing attention and oversight on the governance of charitable organisations, it is imperative that smaller charities are equipped to have the strongest boards possible.”

Dewart added, “While the programme is a pilot, we have seen the growing need for this work. There are many great organisations in the sector, working to strengthen governance, and we are delighted that volunteer centres can also play a role in this.

“It’s been an exciting year, in which we have learnt a lot and I’d like to thank the Department of Rural and Community Development for their support.

Similar events will be taking place in Cork and Galway in the coming weeks.

Photograph by Frances Hayden.