The Western Development Commission has announced that it is to provide €10,000 investment to the European Volunteering Capital 2017.
The financial support will be used to highlight and promote the volunteering work that is being done in the West of Ireland, as demonstrated by the designation of Sligo as European Volunteering Capital for 2017.
Ciara Herity, Manager of Sligo Volunteer Centre, and Ian Brannigan, CEO of the WDC, made the announcement at Sligo Gaol, which is run entirely by volunteers.
The WDC said that the EVC 2017 was a unique opportunity to showcase the value and contribution of volunteerism both socially and economically in the West of Ireland. Volunteering has a huge economic benefit with activities carried out in Sligo alone believed to be worth more than €3.3 million to the local economy every year.
There is a vibrant and active volunteer network in the West of Ireland supported by five volunteer centres in Sligo, Donegal, Mayo, Galway and Clare, and two volunteer information services in Leitrim and Roscommon.
The benefits of volunteering on an individual, societal and economic level are of major importance to the region. In Sligo alone, it is estimated that 7,000 hours of volunteering is estimated to take place each week, amounting to a value of €64,050.
Ian Brannigan, CEO of WDC said, “Volunteering grows people and communities, and, as such, the WDC are proud to be working with Sligo in its delivery of the European Volunteering Capital programme.
“It is important that we work together to ensure the European Volunteering Capital 2017 leaves a legacy that highlights the value and worth of volunteerism to society on a local, regional and national level.”
Ciara Herity, Manager of Sligo Volunteer Centre, said, “I am delighted that we have the support of the Western Development Commission for this important year. We know that volunteering has an economic value as well as a social value
“We think that volunteering fits very well with the motto of the Western Development Commission to promote this region as a place to live, work and do business in. People feel a sense of belonging and pride in their place when they volunteer. We want to capture that this year.”
The investment from the WDC will finance a number of projects including helping to leave a legacy of work behind after the year as well as the creation of a virtual clock allowing volunteers and voluntary groups to log their hours in 2017. The virtual clock will showcase the amount of volunteering that has been carried out throughout the EVC year.