Residential volunteering provides accommodation for its volunteers and can be a great way to gain valuable experience and making new friends. This type of volunteering is not part of our Placement Service so we do not mediate between volunteers and these organisations.
Below is a list of residential volunteering opportunities available in Ireland. The organisations provide in-house accommodation for volunteers. Opportunities tend to range from one week to one year and are ideal for people seeking to gain experience in the area or for a holiday with a difference. If you are interested, you will need to contact these organisations directly.
Volunteer Now maintains an up-to-date database of residential opportunities in Northern Ireland. Choose ‘Residential Volunteering’ in the ‘Activities’ drop-down menu.
Disabilities and Special Needs
L’Arche is a worldwide federation of faith communities where people with and without learning disabilities live together. In l’Arche, joys are celebrated and struggles are experienced in a loving and caring way. An important part of the work done by L’Arche is in giving its residents the confidence and ability to become an important member of the wider community through engagement with voluntary organisations and projects as well as in their own workshops. Assistants are welcomed from every country, but applications from Ireland are needed in particular. People who are searching for a deeper meaning in their lives often come to l’Arche. They are attracted by community living and by a life where spirituality is central. L’Arche is a challenging place to live; personal illusions and weaknesses are confronted and strengths are built upon.
The communities are Roman Catholic in identity, but welcome people of all denominations and those with no religious affiliation. The first community in Ireland was founded in 1978 in Kilkenny where the community is still going strong, L’Arche now supports communities in Belfast, Cork, Dublin, and Sligo.
You can find the details of these individual communities below. To find out more about volunteering with L’Arche and how you could get involved you can visit their general website as well you can get in touch with the individual communities below. L’Arche is active in forty countries around the world. To find out more about the work of L’Arche International visit: www.larcheireland.org.
Camphill Communities of Ireland
The Camphill Communities offer those in need of special care a sheltered environment in which their educational, therapeutic and social needs can be met. The communities in the Republic of Ireland were all founded through the initiative of parents of children with various disabilities and special needs. In total 18 communities are operating in eight counties, namely: Clare, Dublin, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Monaghan, Tipperary and Wexford. Each community has its own distinctive purpose and character.
Volunteers who wish to get fully involved in the life of the community on a long-term basis (usually 6 months – 1 year or more) are encouraged to apply. Details can be found on their website:www.camphill.ie. Click on “The Communities” tab to bring up an interactive map of Ireland showing the location of each community as well and their contact details.
Camphill Communities of Ireland
41 Nutley Avenue
Donnybrook Dublin 4
Kingsriver Community provides residential and daycare programmes for adults and young people with a variety of special needs. Through a wide selection of FETAC accredited training courses and other programmes, the community aims to improve their members quality of life by teaching them the skills they need to participate. The skills they pass on include woodwork and arts and crafts. Kingsriver looks for people who can commit to long-term volunteering, of at least six months, and it is a prominent opportunity among European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteers.
Kingsriver Community Ennisag
+353 (0) 772 8287
Barretstown rebuilds the lives of children and families affected by childhood cancer. Volunteers live and participate in the camp in County Kildare where accommodation and food are provided. The children, from 7 to 17, come from Ireland and across Europe to take part in a free Therapeutic Recreation programme which includes activities such as canoeing, high ropes, drama and arts and crafts.
Every year Barretstown needs 700 volunteers to make camp a life-changing experience for all involved. As a volunteer (Cara, which is the Irish word for “friend”) you perform a key role in supporting and encouraging each child to take part in all aspects of camp, while making sure they’re safe and supervised at all times.
Most importantly you’ll help them have fun! Camps are run in the Spring, Summer and Autumn. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or over. To find out more about the work of Barretstown and, how you can get involved, visit www.barretstown.org
Tel: +353 (0) 45 864 115
Sunshine House (SVP)
The Sunshine House provides a much-needed holiday for over 1,300 children, aged between 7 -11 years old annually, from disadvantaged backgrounds that otherwise would not get a break from their everyday routine and surroundings. Around 14 one-week camps are held in Balbriggan in Dublin.
The camps are entirely free for the parents, provided for by the Sunshine Fund of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Volunteers spend all day interacting with the kids for a whole week during which time they organise sports, arts and crafts, songs and games and other activities designed to include everyone in a spirit of fun and friendship. www.sunshinefund.ie
The Sunshine Fund
4th Floor SVP House
91-92 Sean MacDermott Street
Tel: +353 (0)1-8198433
National Trust (Northern Ireland)
Gain valuable experience, learn new skills, and enjoy free accommodation while helping to maintain some of Northern Ireland’s most scenic and historic properties. Exciting opportunities are available for voluntary countryside wardens, gardeners and much more besides. Ideal for gaining the practical experience required for a career in the environment. Learn new skills or put theory into practice under professional staff training, instruction and supervision. For those seeking a truly ‘down-to-earth’ experience you could opt to live in one of the Trust’s isolated “Bothies” where bed, electricity, and running water are unheard of. If that’s not suitable, however, the Trust has more hospitable accommodation available. The National Trust advertises a number of opportunities across Northern Ireland.
For more information visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Friends of the Elderly
Friends of the elderly has about 400 volunteers who conduct regular visitations to elderly people in their homes or in nursing homes to help with daily tasks and most importantly to develop a friendship and provide some much appreciated company. The general aim of the organisation is to improve the quality of life of elderly people by helping to alleviate loneliness and isolation, which is often prevalent. Regular activities, outings and holidays are organised by the volunteers for the elderly people in their care.
Administrating this project are three interns who work for a period of twelve months at the organisation’s head office on Bolton street, Dublin 1 and who help with many of the organisation’s tasks including the hands-on tasks of making visitations and working in the organisation’s charity shop as well as administrative duties.
Friends of the Elderly particularly encourages international volunteers as well as volunteers from other branches of Little Brothers.
Simon Communities of Ireland
The Simon Community have established a presence in just about every county in Ireland, which work autonomously with the countries’ marginalised- tackling homelessness and creating homes for over forty years. Full-time volunteers are sought for 6-month periods during which time they assist in every aspect of community life. Volunteers are involved directly with community residents undertaking such tasks as organising leisure activities, providing physical care for older and disabled residents, accompanying residents on appointments, cooking meals etc.
Volunteers also take on roles in the day-to-day administration of the community; maintain records, staffing the reception desk, taking part in advocacy projects, liaising with associate agencies etc.
Volunteers live together in accommodation with is provided, along with everything you need to support yourself over the term of the placement, by the Simon Community.
For more information and to find a volunteering opportunity visit:
5 Red Cow Lane
Tel: +353 (0)1 635 4814
Peace & Conflict
Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation
The Glencree Centre is dedicated to providing leadership in fostering peace and understanding between the communities of Ireland, north and south, in the context of the legacies inherited from our islands’ troubled past. Volunteers are asked to commit to a term of twelve months during which time they are involved in the numerous peace-building programmes run by the centre in four overlapping spheres of activity: Dialogue, Learning, Networking, International Activity. Programmes deal with a wide range of issues relating to conflict and peace including gender, religion, politics, youth and ex-combatants. Volunteers live on site and also see to the day-to-day activities of the centre including office-work, house-work, cooking and event organising. Participants must be 18 years or older, must possess a full manual drivers license and must be able to commit to the full twelve month term between September and August.
For more information and to apply visit: www.glencree.ie
Volunteer Now works to promote, enhance and support volunteering across Northern Ireland. Volunteer Now is about connecting with individuals and organisations to build healthy communities and create positive change. It is similar in many ways to the Volunteer Centres in the Republic of Ireland.
Volunteer Now maintains an up-to-date database of residential opportunities in Northern Ireland which can be viewed by the following link and choosing “Residential Volunteering” in the “Activities” drop-down menu and pressing Search: http://volunteernow.co.uk/volunteering
Tel: 028 9023 2020