Hiring not firing

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It makes a welcome change in the present economic climate to have organisations setting out their stalls to attract people into working for them – albeit volunteering.

“Volunteering for an organisation is not the same as paid work but should not be dismissed lightly,” said Stephanie Grundon from Causeway Volunteer Centre who organised the event. “While there is no pay cheque at the end of the month, it is still a worthwhile thing to do.

“Volunteering gives people a chance to get involved, to do meaningful work, to make new connections, learn new skills and get experience which will certainly help with finding paid work.”

Of course you don’t have to be looking for paid work to benefit from volunteering there are benefits for everyone.

From a glance at the organisations taking part in the Volunteer Recruitment Fair in the Diamond Centre in Coleraine on Thursday it’s clear to see that there are lots of opportunities out there – opportunities to work with children, young people, environment, fundraising, counselling, mentoring and befriending, working with families, older people, people with disabilities, animals, birds, crafts, sporting events, heritage – anything you can think of.

All of these organisations are working to provide much needed services to the community and are dedicated to improving people’s lives including that of their volunteers. By getting involved you can be assured of a great experience and plenty of personal support. You will also know that you are doing something really worthwhile.

The Mayor of Coleraine, Cllr David Harding came along to offer his support to the event and commented on the great work being done by the voluntary organisations and their many volunteers. A long standing volunteer himself, he encouraged everyone to get involved. “Volunteering really does make a difference,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Cllr Claire Sugden, a very strong supporter of volunteering who took the opportunity to spend time with the exhibitors getting to know them and pledging her ongoing support.

“It’s great to see such a range of voluntary organisations and all the opportunities on offer,” she said.

Mary McNickle, Manager Causeway Volunteer Centre thanked the Mayor, Cllr Sugden and all the exhibitors for attending the event. She also acknowledged the support from Gwyneth McQuiston, Diamond Centre Manager and the Riverbank Cafe for their wonderful tea and coffee!

If you would like to know more about volunteering or getting volunteers involved in your organisation, please contact Causeway Volunteer Centre on 02870358285 or info@causewayvc.org.