Volunteer Spotlight: Kanwal’s Story

Kanwal’s Story

My name is Kanwal and I have been in Ireland for a year. Although I have a MPhil in Linguistics and over 5 years teaching experience  I found it impossible to get work as I have no experience in Ireland. It was very difficult for me to be just sitting at home.Kanwal Zafar Bhalli

One day I called into Louth Volunteer Centre and they guided me to find the right volunteer opportunity. With their help I applied for the role of Administrative Assistant with the North East Cancer Research & Education Trust (NECRET). Their Fundraising Manager interviewed me and then offered me this voluntary position.

The Fundraising Manager was so supportive of my self-development and was very encouraging in general. During my time with NECRET the role grew and I became involved in areas such as designing fundraising projects – including one which is still running and involves schoolchildren designing paintings. I love art myself and painted a map of the North East – Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Meath and North Dublin, to represent the area NECRET covers and this painting is still hanging on the wall of the office.

Through my volunteering experience  I regained my confidence and decided to start applying for jobs again. Ciaran in NECRET in particular really inspired me to push for ‘good’ jobs.  I recently got employment as a New Product Development Assistant in East Coast Bakehouse – I was even interviewed by Alison Cowzer from Dragon’s Den! I am so happy with to have gotten this job. Honestly, it is because of Louth Volunteer Centre as they guided me so well in the first place. Thank you so much for making me a part of Louth volunteer programme.

Volunteering News May 2016


Welcome to the latest edition of Volunteering Matters!

In this Issue:

Its that time again... National Volunteering Week (16th-22nd May) happens each May celebrating the work of volunteers in Ireland. 

Something that has shaped this country, and will continue to do so in the future, is volunteering. We are one of the best countries in the world at volunteering, ranked number one in Europe and tenth in the world in terms of per capita volunteer hours.

It is no exaggeration to say that Ireland as we know it couldn’t exist without volunteers — imagine the empty sports stadiums, the unmanned helplines for vulnerable people, the empty youth clubs without volunteers.

ThankYou    To date in 2016 volunteers in Louth have clocked up 10,000 hours helping good causes around the county, so we just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to each and every one of you for giving up your time to support the community.

National Volunteering week comntinues until Sunday, and its not too late to show your support to local causes. There are a few once off volunteering roles taking place over the weekend that need all hands on deck!


Urgent Volunteer Opportunities this weekend

Local childrens' football team Woodview Celtic FC are holding a bag pack tomorrow (21st May) in various locations across Dundalk. All help would be very much appreciated. Funds are being raised for the development of a new pitch for the team. Call Jeanine on 0861237610 if you can give 1 or 2 hours.

Cox's Demesne Community Volunteers are holding a clean up in Oakland Park from 1-4pm tomorrow (21st May). Volunteers are meeting at 12.45pm at Oakland Park - directly across from Dunnes Stores. Call Kayleigh on 0860431379 for more info

SOSAD are looking for Volunteers for bag packing on Friday and Saturday the 27th and 28th May in Tesco Extra. They need lots of help and support to ensure the future of SOSAD. If You are interested this opportunity apply here


An Tain March

The Táin March - Ireland's unique heritage, walking and living-history festival - is a fun, family event, held annually in Co Louth to celebrate the Táin Bo Cuailgne (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), Ireland's most famous saga, and the warrior champions Cuchulainn and Ferdia.  Queen Maeve will set out with her loyal warriors on the week long march from Roscommon to Omeath on the Cooley Peninsula, amassing more warriors on route, and a series of events will take place along the route. 
On Saturday, the 28th of May the 2016 Tain March Festival lauches at the the Rathcroghan Vistor Centre in Tulsk, Co Roscommon and they need volunteer walkers and welcomers to steward the march as it comes from Oriel Park to Dundalk town Square on Saturday 4th June from 1pm-2.30pm. View the details and apply for the role here.

Louth Agricultural Show 2016

10388113_904399812910330_5971996265227558078_nOn the Sunday, 12th of June the Dundalk Show Society is running the 2016 County Louth Agricultiral Show at Bellurgan Park, Carlingford Road, Dundalk. The Co. Louth Agricultural Show has a mission, “To be a Shop Window for what is produced locally, explaining the process from farm to fork, highlighting best agricultural practice and adherence to quality production”. Shows like the Co. Louth Agricultural Show also help to preserve traditions handed down through generations which otherwise could be forgotten.

They are calling for volunteers to be Show Marshals. You can view the details and apply for the role here.  


Garda Vetting updates

As of April 29th 2016, a new Act - The National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016 came into effect.  This act makes it mandatory for people working with children or vulnerable adults to be vetted by the Garda Síochána National Vetting Bureau.
What this means for volunteers is that anyone undertaking regular volunteering roles that involve working with children or adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, mental ilness or older people will need to be vetted before they begin volunteering. Up to now, vetting has been carried out by voluntary groups as a matter of good practice. 

Image result for volunteer opportunities
Activity that reflects opportunity Volunteer Opportunity Place of Volunteering
Youth work
Sports/out door activities/Coaching
Sports/out door activities/Coaching
Fund raising
Fund raising
Fund raising
Fund raising
Fund raising
Fund raising
Fund raising
Fund raising
First aid
First aid
Events and stewarding
Events and stewarding
Events and stewarding
Events and stewarding
Events and stewarding
Events and stewarding
Computers, Technology and the Internet
Computers, Technology and the Internet
Community/Economic Development
Committee/Board work/Management
Committee/Board work/Management
Committee/Board work/Management
Arts (music/drama/crafts)
Arts (music/drama/crafts)
Arts (music/drama/crafts)
Arts (music/drama/crafts)
Architecture, Building, Construction
Advice, information and support
Administrative/Office work
Administrative/Office work
Girl Guide Leaders
Special Olympics Volunteer
Track Marshal
Flag Day Volunteers
Flag Day Collector
Red Cross May Fundraising
Promotion Volunteers
Fundraisers - Bucket collectors
Flag day volunteers
First aider / Volunteer
First Aid Assistant
Childrens Entertainers
Event Organiser
Duck Derby Volunteers
Festival Crew
Set Up Crew
Volunteer Driver
Childline Volunteer Information Evening
Garden Designer
Garden/Park maintenance
IT Support
Website Designer
FoodCloud Assistant
Committee Members
Board Members
Committee Member
Tea/Coffee Volunteers
Programme Assistant
Arts and Crafts Facilitator
Bodhran Tutor
Community Artist
Volunteer Stone Mason
Good Morning Louth - Telephone support for older people
Project Co-ordinator / Admin volunteer
Club Administrator
Drogheda, Scholes Lane (near West St)
Drogheda, Crosslanes
Collon Co. Louth / Athboy Co. Meath / Edgerworthstown Co. Longford / Nutts Corner Belfast
Drogheda Town
Drogheda, Thomas Street,
Ard Easmuinn, Dundalk, Co. Louth
At various locations around Drogheda
Mell Parish Hall, Upper Mell, Drogheda, Louth.
Holy Family Center Ballsgrove Drogheda Redeemer Community Center Dundalk
Dundalk towm
Albion Rovers Football Club, Monasterboice, Drogheda, Co. Louth on 24th July, 2016
Drogheda, Co. Louth
Drogheda Port
Drogheda Port
Holy Family Creche Ballsgrove Redeemer Community Center Dundalk
Holy Family Centre Ballsgrove Redeemer Community Centre Dundalk
Drogheda area - this role can be undertaken remotely, as it involved computer based work.
171 Moneymore,Drogheda, Co. Louth
Drogheda / home based in Louth
Ardee. Irish wheelchair Association Day Resource and Outreach Centre, Ardee, John St Business Park, Ardee Co Louth
Holy Family Centre, Ballsgrove, Redeemer Community Centre Dundalk
Dundalk, Aspen House, 76 Seatown, Dundalk, Co. Louth
Duleek, Co Meath or from own home
Drogheda Co. Louth


What is Lens A Hand About? Glad you aksed!!

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. No matter what walk of life we come from, we meet these volunteers on a daily basis and i think we sometimes forget what a great thing they are doing by giving up their time to do good in the community. You may think that #LensAHand is not for you - but I'll bet it is! Each and every one of us have been impacted by a volunteer.

Think about it for a minute...

  • Do your kids play for a soccer, gaelic or hurling team? The coaches are volunteers!
  • Have you attended a coffee morning, table quiz, charity car boot sale or charity dance event? They are organised by volunteers!
  • Have you ran in, or watched a local 5 or 10k race? They are organised by and stewarded by volunteers!
  • Have you ever ran an event in work to raise awareness for a charity? Then you or your colleagues have volunteered!
  • Do you enjoy the clean streets, tidy lawns and colourful flowers in your estate and along our roads? Tidy towns groups and residents committees are volunteers!
  • Have you attended the St Patricks Day parade? Organised by a committee of volunteers and stewarded by volunteers!
  • Have you gone to any of the local agricultural shows or vintage shows? Volunteers!

I think you see where I'm going with this. The Lens a Hand photo competition is not just open to volunteers, but everyone who has been impacted by volunteers in some way. The photo can be of you, or other volunteers in action.

We want to put the spotlight on the variety of work that is done by volunteers across County Louth and we need you to show us your pictures. And besides, there are some great prizes on offer which have been generously donated by local businesses

Here are some examples from last year’s contest of the kinds of entries we are looking for: 

Daisy Caira HHH

For Infomation on how to entry and to also see the list of prizes for the contest click here

For terms and conditions click here

We are really looking forward to seeing your pictures and thanks to the people who have already entered!

Forget Selfies, Get Selfless! #LensAHand