New campaign launches to boost volunteering in Newry

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Thursday, March 19th, 2020
Community, What's On

Volunteer Now, the lead organisation for promoting and supporting volunteering across Northern Ireland, is urging people in Newry to get into volunteering and find their perfect match through its brand new online search portal.

Boasting hundreds of unique volunteering opportunities across a range of sectors, the new online platform is the first of its kind to be implemented within the charity sector in Northern Ireland and makes it easier than ever to find volunteering opportunities.

From treading the boards at a local theatre to caring for guide dog puppies, to helping some of the most vulnerable members of society, the Volunteer Now platform searches and finds locally based volunteering opportunities matched specifically to the volunteer’s skills and interests.

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Celebrating the launch of the new online volunteering search portal, Councillor Charlie Casey, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said, “It’s wonderful to see Volunteer Now leading the way and embracing the latest technology to create a platform that will benefit our entire community.

“Volunteering is vital to ensure we look after our people and our planet.



“This new volunteering portal not only benefits our local charities and community organisations who are calling out for volunteer support, but it also helps individuals and businesses looking to get into volunteering to find the right opportunities that suit their skills and interests.

“I know I speak for the local community when I say that we greatly value and appreciate anyone who gives their time and effort to support any volunteering cause, whether it is once a year or once a week.

Charlie added, “The introduction of this platform is something I am delighted to support and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts it will bring to our community.”

Alzheimer’s Society is just one of many organisations that have partnered with Volunteer Now to promote their live volunteering opportunities via the platform.



Local Alzheimer’s Society volunteer, Alastair Penny, said, “I started volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Society in Newry as my own father had dementia towards the end of his life and I just knew I wanted to help people like him.

“I’m involved in the ‘Side by Side’ support service which means that I meet up with someone living with dementia and help them continue to do the things they enjoy – whether it’s a drive in the countryside, attending a music concert or simply going for a coffee.

“You never know what’s going to happen in the future and I’d like to think that should I develop dementia later in life, someone might do this for me.



“I visit up to five people with dementia every week and I find the experience very rewarding.

“The staff at the Newry Alzheimer’s Society are extremely supportive to me as a volunteer. Not only do they give you training but they are always at the end of the phone for any advice and support,” Alastair continued.

“With someone developing dementia every three minutes in Northern Ireland, the demand for services is high.

“There are nearly 1,000 people with dementia waiting for volunteers right now, so new volunteers are always welcome.

“I would encourage anyone with some free time to spare, even if it’s only a few hours each week, to sign up for the Side by Side programme and support a person with dementia to live more independently,” Alastair added.



Commenting on the success of the new platform, Clara O’Callaghan Volunteering Support Officer for Newry, Mourne and Down at Volunteer Now, said, “As Northern Ireland’s regional volunteering organisation, we are continually looking for innovative ways to provide volunteers with the support they need to find relevant opportunities.

“We are delighted to be working with the majority of local charities and organisations as we introduce this new and exciting development.

“We want to thank all those organisations and volunteers in this area who have embraced our new platform and have contributed to its growing success,” Clara added.



For more information on live volunteering opportunities visit


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