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Ireland launches redesigned volunteer site
05 December 2006

Dublin, Ireland: Noel Ahern, Minister of State, Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs today will officially launch the updated website www.volunteer.ie, which will serve as the national portal to volunteering in ireland.

The website is home to Volunteer Centres Ireland (VCI), the national organisation responsible for developing volunteering in Ireland and which represents 11 volunteer centres operating in the Republic.

Minister Ahern will launch the site and officially open the new offices of VCI in Dublin on International Volunteer Day.

According to the Minister Ahern, "Voluntary activity is a very important component of a healthy and caring democratic society.  Without active volunteers, communities cannot flourish.  Events like today’s are therefore important in highlighting the voluntary effort from communities and reinforcing the message that your community needs you."

All the world  events are taking place to celebrate and give recognition to volunteering and the benefits volunteering brings to the individual, the community and the society – at local, regional, national and international level.

Evidence from the volunteer centres that go to make up the membership of VCI who work on placing volunteers with volunteer-involving organisations, highlight the importance of the internet to volunteering. About 25% of the volunteers who have registered with volunteer centres this year – more than 2,500 in total – did so via the internet. Www.volunteer.ie has been updated to be a fully accessible entry point to volunteering in Ireland. On the site, users can find out general information about volunteering, view current volunteering opportunities and register to volunteer with their local volunteer centre.

VCI’s vision is for a society in which everyone in ireland who wants to volunteer, no matter who they are or where they are, has an entry point to volunteering. The development of the www.volunteer.ie website is a vital element in the national infrastructure for volunteering currently being developed by VCI, the volunteer centres that are members of vci and emerging centres across the country – a developing infrastructure which has received much support from the department of community, rural and gaeltacht affairs. In addition to providing information for anyone with an interest in volunteering in ireland, the national portal is primarily a practical tool for getting involved.