Following a record number of calls for help in 2021 the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has launched a national campaign for volunteers.
Last year, just over 191,000 calls for help were made to the society throughout the country.
This is 12% up on the number of calls in 2020 and the highest on record for the society.
As SVP prepares for a full return to home visitations shortly the campaign for volunteers focuses on over 900 Visiting Conferences (Branches) throughout the country and over 100 in the South East.
Volunteers are also being sought to help in shops, social housing as well as children and family services.
The recruitment campaign theme is ‘You know who you are – But we don’t’.
To apply to become an SVP volunteer visit svp.ie/volunteer or call 01 884 8246 (ROI) or 028 912 41943 (NI).
SVP National President Rose McGowan told Kilkenny Press that the characteristics required of volunteers include kindness, compassion, discretion, respect and being non-judgemental.
“Volunteers are our greatest strength, they know the issues in their communities and can address immediate needs as well as helping families and individuals, young and old, move towards self-sufficiency and equal opportunity through friendship and support.
“Offering a little help at the right time can give people hope for the future. Volunteers sharing their time and skills can change lives forever.
She continued: “Volunteering with SVP involves working with and supporting the largest and oldest voluntary charitable organisation in Ireland.
“Training will be provided and the time commitment, while variable, is usually 3-5 hours weekly.”
Other than visitation, some other volunteer positions required by SVP are in:
Providing professional data management and finance support for conferences, to ensure that these capture and record important data that improves their ability to assist people, while also adhering to relevant legislation, eg GDPR.
The role as a volunteer in the network of almost 240 shops is to carry out or assist in general shop duties and to ensure customers are the priority at all times.
The key attributes of volunteers are experience and knowledge in the areas of architecture, engineering, surveying, health & safety, social work and social care.
Family & Children
Volunteers can share their time and skills in one of the SVP youth clubs, community resource centres, day care centres, or holiday homes.
SVP has a Safeguarding Policy to protect children and adults at risk of harm.
It takes all safeguarding complaints seriously to ensure that those who require assistance, volunteers, staff, and anyone associated with the SVP, are kept safe from all forms of violence, coercive control, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
This is achieved through a robust and effective approach, including Garda vetting on recruitment, and providing a quality standard of support and service delivery.