National student volunteering website launches at UCD

Posted December 07, 2016

  • UCD and other institutions launch studentvolunteer.ie
  • Website matches students' interests with volunteering opportunities

UCD and nine other third level colleges have launched studentvolunteer.ie, a new online resource that matches students’ interests with volunteering opportunities.

The portal is the first of its kind globally and aims to enhance students’ awareness of their role and responsibility in solving challenges such as homelessness, social exclusion and an ageing population.

Potential users include up to 100,847 (HEA 2015) students across all higher education institutions and up to 8,000 registered Civil Society Organisations. For charities such as Barnardos, Habitat for Humanity, TeenLine and Special Olympics Ireland, student volunteering is a vital component of their ongoing work.

“With over 3,000 registered volunteers under 25 years old, Special Olympics Ireland depend on the student volunteers among our younger supporters to assist with our fundraising activities and sustain our programmes through working in our clubs, helping at events and participating in committees at local and regional level,” said Claire O’Connor, Volunteer Services Manager at Special Olympics Ireland.

UCD Students can browse and apply for volunteering opportunities nationally or internationally; manage their profile and volunteering activity online; track volunteering hours; gain recognition and apply for volunteering awards.

“In our work for the Saint Vincent De Paul Society here at UCD, we know that we’ll never be able to solve the housing crisis or eliminate poverty in Ireland,” said UCD student Dan Kieran.

“What we can do is make somebody’s day a little bit better. Volunteering is a great opportunity to make friends, it broadens your perspective on the world, and makes you appreciate what you have. It’s an opportunity to put a smile on someone’s face.”

Shortlisted for the 2016 THINKTECH awards, studentvolunteer.ie has been developed under the umbrella of the Campus Engage Network based at the Irish Universities Association.

There are currently 10 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) invested in the portal: UCD, NUI Galway, IT Tralee, UL, MU, Trinity, IT Tallaght, DCU, UCC and DIT. The online system is open to students from all Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), private colleges and VECs.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations