There was an almost 25% surge in the numbers of people volunteering last year, with about 11,000 people registering at centres across the country.
Volunteer Ireland, the national volunteer development agency, said the number of people volunteering in its 22 centres since the recession has grown dramatically. Following five successful National Day of Volunteering campaigns, this year the campaign is being expanded to seven days, running from May 14-20.
Research carried out by Volunteer Ireland, in advance of National Volunteering Week, found that being involved in volunteering made people happier.
The research, involving more than 500 active volunteers across the country, found that 98% felt that “volunteering makes them a happier person”.
The most common reasons for volunteering were to help people (65%), contribute to the community (60%), add experience to CV (37%), keep active (33%), occupy spare time (30%), develop contacts (24%), and find work through volunteering (24%). About 58% said they believed there was a difference between why younger people (aged 14-50) and older people (50+) volunteered. Among those whose employment had been negatively affected by the recession, 68% said it made them more likely to volunteer.
To get involved in National Volunteer Week 2012 go to volunteer.ie
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