29 Jun 2022

Minister of State Joe O'Brien visits to open Kilkenny Volunteer Centre and meet local groups

New volunteer centre

New volunteer centre officially opened by Minister of State

Minister of State with responsibility for Community Development and Charities Joe O’Brien today officially opened the Kilkenny Volunteer Centre.

Volunteer Centres are supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development to provide a placement service between individuals and groups who want to volunteer, and organisations that are seeking to involve volunteers. They also provide advice, training, guidance on Garda vetting, and supports to volunteer organisations.

“I am delighted to be here with you today, on what is a great day for volunteering and Kilkenny," said Minister of State O'Brien.

"Kilkenny has a vibrant community sector with over 424 community groups registered with the Public Participation Network. The opening of the volunteer centre can provide support to the already established energetic community and provide opportunities for those who wish to contribute their skills and their time to volunteer in Kilkenny. This Volunteer Centre will ensure that both the volunteer and the volunteer involving organisations are supported.”

“As you are aware the implementation of our National Volunteering Strategy is well underway, the promotion of Kilkenny Volunteer Centre from Volunteer Information Service is a part of that progress. The National Volunteering Strategy’s vision of “a society where volunteering is promoted, valued, facilitated and supported so that people can contribute to developing and maintaining vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities is well reflected in the vision for Kilkenny’s volunteer centre.”

The Minister of State also visited a number of community initiatives supported by his Departments.

The next stop was a visit to the Father McGrath Family Resource Centre, a voluntary managed centre, offering many valuable services to the community. He continued to the Ukrainian Response ‘One Stop Shop’ where he met with support workers and people that have arrived from Ukraine.

He also visited Kilkenny Leader Partnership and the council chamber where he met with officials and the Community Response Forum who are coordinating the community-led response in assisting and supporting those from Ukraine.

Next on the his itinerary was a visit to Bishop Birch Community Centre where he met with the Kilkenny Traveller Community Movement (KTCM), one of seven projects supported under the Community Development Pilot Programme. The Minister went on to visit Kilkenny Community Radio, a project supported by the Community Services Programme. His final visit was to Butler House and Garden where he met with staff and participants of the Department of Social Protection funded Tús and Rural Social Schemes.

“Today has been a wonderful opportunity to visit some of the many projects that are supported by the Departments of Rural and Community Development and Social Protection, as well as broader Government Departments. The work of these communities and volunteers cannot be underestimated. We will continue to support communities so that they can continue to become vibrant, inclusive and attractive places to live and work," he said.

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