Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do

By June Shannon Policy News   |   5th Dec 2019

International Volunteer Day 2019 – Celebrating the power of our volunteers

Today (Thursday 5th of December 2019) is International Volunteer Day and we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and thank the 3,000 people who generously give their time to volunteer with the Irish Heart Foundation.

Here at the Irish Heart Foundation we work very hard every day to help prevent premature death and disability from heart disease and stroke, from our support groups to our CPR programmes, information and awareness campaigns and free health checks, we reach thousands of people across the country every year. However, we could not do any of this without our wonderful team of dedicated volunteers.

International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December was designated by the United Nations in 1985 as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism.

The 2018 State of the World’s Volunteerism report produced by the UN found that the global volunteer workforce currently stands at 109 million full-time equivalent workers.

According to the report, “Of this 109 million, 30 per cent is volunteering that takes place formally through organizations, associations and groups. More difficult to capture and often less visible to mainstream development actors, the majority of global volunteer activity (70 per cent) occurs directly through informal engagement between individuals.

As volunteerism is a social behaviour, geography, gender, age and other social, economic and political realities affect people’s ability to volunteer. Overall, more volunteering is undertaken by women than by men, at 57 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.”

" This year’s theme is Volunteer for an Inclusive Future and the Irish Heart Foundation can provide opportunities for people to play a constructive role in our communities by volunteering their time and skills ."

Anne Harrington, Senior Fundraising Administrator, The Irish Heart Foundation

The 2018 UN report revealed that there are approximately 132,273 people aged 15 or over in Ireland take part in some kind of volunteering role either on a full time or part time basis and each and every one has the power to make a real difference in their community.

The theme for International Volunteer Day 2019 #IVD2019 is “Volunteer for an inclusive future”, highlighting the pursuit of equality – including inclusion – through volunteerism.

According to the UN, “Volunteering provides opportunities for people, particularly those often excluded, to concretely impact their own lives and play a constructive role in their communities by volunteering their time and skills. Through volunteerism, communities around the world often experience strengthened solidarity and inclusion.”

Commenting Anne Harrington, Senior Fundraising Administrator at the Irish Heart Foundation said, “This year’s theme is Volunteer for an Inclusive Future and the Irish Heart Foundation can provide opportunities for people to play a constructive role in our communities by volunteering their time and skills. Through volunteerism, communities in Ireland experience strengthened inclusion.”

To mark International Volunteer Day 2019, we want to say a special thank you to all our volunteers – thank you for making a difference and helping to save lives.

For more information on the many ways you can volunteer with the Irish Heart Foundation please see here.

Thank you.

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