Throughout the year Sligo Volunteer Centre took part in many events to promote volunteerism, as well as gaining much publicity in local media. Below are some facts and figures for the year as well as a number of special events highlighted.
Wednesday 24th January 2007 saw the official launch of the Sligo Volunteer Centre with Minister of State Noel Ahern delivering the official opening speech. It was a great occasion for the Community and Voluntary sector in Sligo.
The evening comprised of addresses by a variety of public representatives as well as the perspective of a volunteer - Mr. Kieran McGill, Sligo Person of the Year 2006/2007 contributing to his community in rural Sligo.
The launch also incorporated an opportunity for community and voluntary groups to have information stands. The launch acknowledged the work of community and voluntary groups and demonstrated just how vital they are to the Sligo Volunteer Centre. There were approximately 20 stands and in total there were approximately 120 attendees.
Sligo Volunteer Centre had in their 2007 plans an aim to work with a RAPID area of Sligo Town. The project that SVC got involved in was in conjunction with Cranmore Community Co-op. The Co-op were conducting a Community Skills Survey in their estate to establish what kinds of skills and talents lay within the community itself. The results of the survey will feed information on the type of training which can be developed in the area, ideas for local enterprises and locally based skills exchange.
Sligo Volunteer Centre recruited 8 volunteers to “buddy” with local volunteers to carry out the surveys. Sligo Volunteer Centre are currently in the process of evaluating the outcomes and working with the Cranmore Community Co-op on the feedback received to learn form the experience and perhaps see how similar projects could be implemented in other areas.
‘Give it a Swirl Day’ was organised by Volunteer Centres Ireland and was the first National Day of volunteering. Schools, businesses and individuals all over the country were encouraged to take part in voluntary activity for the good of their community on this day. The theme was “Community Makeover” and took place on Wednesday 26th September 2007. Sligo Volunteer Centre has been involved in supporting two local projects.
Sligo Rovers FC wanted to re-develop an area of waste ground in order to extend the training pitch area in Sligo Showgrounds. The area was covered in rubble and waste. The volunteers also sorted and chopped wood for distribution as firewood to the elderly of the area for the winter. Volunteers from the ESB, the Bank of Ireland, MBNA and Sligo Borough Council as well as a number of individuals from the locality took part on the day.
The project involved supporting the Skreen/Dromard Community Council to plant trees and shrubs around the site of a new playground which was being developed for the community. Unfortunately, due to the late start to the construction side of the project, the volunteers were unable to get into action on Give it a Swirl Day. However, the shrub and tree planting took place on Saturday 20th October. Twenty people took part on the day and two plum trees, as well as various bulbs were planted and the hedge area was prepared for further planting in the Spring.
Sligo Volunteer Centre hosted a successful celebration evening for International Volunteer Day 2007 in the Model Arts Centre on Wednesday 5th December. The event was attended by local community and voluntary groups and by volunteers from a variety of organisations around the county. The special guest on the night was Mr. Hugh Brennan, CEO of the Niall Mellon Township Trust. He himself started as a volunteer on the Niall Mellon project a number of years ago, and has now taken up a full time position as the CEO of the Charity. Mr. Brennan highlighted the fact that every volunteer’s contribution here and abroad all makes a difference.
This was the second year of the highly popular County Tidy Towns Competition which was organised by Sligo County Council. A total of 136 entry forms were received in 2007, an increase of 22% on the volume of application received in 2006.