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Annual Report 2017

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Annual Report 2017
  What we do: • Provide a link between people interested in volunteering and non-profit groups looking for volunteers. • Advertise for volunteers on behalf of 300+ non-profit groups in Sligo and refer interested people to these groups. • Offer Volunteer Information Workshops to help people get started. • Offer training & guidance to Not for Profit Groups around Volunteer Management • Process Garda Vetting on behalf of Not for Profits
Who we are & What we do
We are a Company Limited by Guarantee, with 4 Part Time Staff, numerous volunteers and a voluntary Board of Trustees
In 2017 Sligo County Council and Sligo Volunteer Centre Co-Hosted European Volunteering Capital Sligo 2017. 

This meant that we had the extra resources of a contract for PR & Project Management Services for the year, and an additional staff member on a part time basis from  Sept 2017-December 2017.




Chair Persons Address
2017 has been another exceptionally busy and engaging year for Sligo Volunteer Centre. The number of people prepared to give their time and talents freely and  willingly as volunteers in the community continue to grow. It is estimated that in Sligo alone up to 7000 hours of volunteering with an economic value of €64000 are provided each week by the people of the town and County.  

Following a hugely successful year with Sligo as European Capital of Volunteering these numbers have vastly increased. I wish to pay particular tribute at this time to Ciara Herity SVC Manager and the extremely dedicated staff and board of management who have made the year such a great success.

Support for this volunteering infrastructure falls in the main on the Manager and Staff of the volunteer centre. They work tirelessly in supporting volunteers, in matching volunteers to community needs, in providing Garda Vetting Service for groups and many other services connected with the volunteer centre.  On behalf of the Board I want to record our gratitude and deep appreciation for the staff of the centre in carrying out these tasks with efficiency and generosity. The workload of the Centre was added to immensely this year by preparations for 2017 when Sligo was honoured with the award of European Capital of Volunteering 2017.  This is a singular honour for the town following on from previous cities of Barcelona, Lisbon, and London. In preparation for this event the Volunteer Centre has worked closely on a committee with Sligo County Council throughout the year in order to put a plan in place
to mark the great honour which the town has been given.  

The Council mobilised  €30,000  of their funds to support civic events for the year, and an Official Corporate Partner-Abbott Ireland- was secured. The Department of Rural & Community Development also offered financial support and the Western Development Commission.  The gratitude of the Board is due to the generous supporters and shows the esteem that the European Capital of Volunteering is held within the County. 2017 was a very successful year culminating in the 10th birthday celebrations that were a huge success. 

On October 12th 2016, a seminar on volunteering strategies was held in the EU Parliament Building in Brussels.  The Volunteer Centre was represented there, as were a number of other voluntary organisations from the County and it proved an ideal event to launch Sligo as European Volunteering Capital 2017. For this event, special thanks is due to MEP Marian Harkin whose efforts got the Parliament to focus on volunteering in 2011 when the members declared that year European Year of Volunteering.  

The successes throughout the year are numerous and commendable and this year has certainly put Sligo and all Volunteers on a national platform that wouldn’t have been achieved without the dedication of a very committed team. There are so many other areas of work that engage the staff of the Centre throughout 2017 but I will leave that to the Managers Report.  

In conclusion I must thank the Board members and staff for the courtesy and cooperation they gave me throughout the year.
Sincere thanks to everyone, Marie Casserly, Chair of Board of Directors. 
Managers Address
2017 was an exceptional and exciting year for Sligo Volunteer Centre. Sligo hosted the European Volunteering Capital 2017. We worked closely with Sligo County Council to deliver a year long of events and happenings. 

It was a fantastic opportunity to make connections with people and groups that we would not normally work with. Our partnerships and links with the business community in Sligo, brought new insights and learning that we hope to carry forward into 2018. 

Our aim was to highlight the great community spirit of Sligo and the many volunteers who make Sligo such a great place to live. I feel that we achieved this through many of our events this year. 

I would like to thank the staff - Riona, Paula, Olivia, Jane & Sinead. I would also like to thank Denise Rushe and Ciaran Byrne who came on board to assist with event management and the PR function for the European Volunteering Capital. 

Of course, our service could not function without the many volunteers that give so generously of their time. Thanks to the Board of Directors: Marie Casserly, Chair; Maria Gallo, Vice Chair; Kathya Rouse, Treasurer; Mary McMoreland, Secretary; Larry Mullin, Sean Forde, Shupai Matewa, Jack Devaney; Dorothy Clarke and Hugh McConville. A huge Thank you to the volunteers who have been part of the team through the year: James, Loveth, Cliodhna, Lucy, and Michele It is a team effort in the Centre, and everyone plays their part.   

 
Ciara Herity Manager Sligo Volunteer Centre
Key Statistics:
 Our support of Volunteers & Volunteer Involving Organisations
462 people engaged with the service & sought to volunteer in their community 
10606 Hours of Volunteering contributed by volunteers we placed 
245 Placements made into 61 Not for Profit Groups. Placement Rate = 44.25%. This means over 44% of those who wished to volunteer got started in a suitable opportunity. 
20 Volunteer Information Workshops held with 60 people in attendance
Volunteers came from 42 different countries 
 5.8 is the number of Full Time jobs that would be required to replace volunteers placed by us
Supported 160 VIO's, around their Volunteer Programmes

20 of whom were new to the service
933 Referals of interested volunteers to voluntary roles

 
Processed 436 Garda Vetting Forms on behalf of 36 groups. Trained 12 new affiliates 
Promoted 198 Opportunities to volunteer - 124 of these were new
3135 is the total number of volunteers registered with Sligo Volunteer Centre 
Globe House in Sligo is home to approximately 200 Refugee and Asylum Seekers. In the absence of being able to participate in paid work, many residents choose to participate in voluntary activity to become part of the community. 

We believe that it is important to support and encourage the residents to volunteer and will have long term benefits for them personally in terms of their mental health and sense of belonging, as well as benefits to the woder community in assisting them to embrace diversity/inclusion/integration. 

In late 2017, our long term Liaison Officer, Ms. Shupai Matewa vacated this role. Two new liaison officers were trained in -Mr. James Sahr (pictured below Left)  and Ms. Loveth Oyiboka (pictured below Right). The Liasion Officer work closely with the staff of Sligo Volunteer Centre, to keep residents of Globe House informed on volunteering and to brief Sligo Volunteer Centre on any needs the residents may have in this regard. 




Support for Volunteers - Social Inclusion 
Globe House Residents 
We facilitate Volunteer Managers Get Togethers during the year.    
                                                       These forums offer a network of peer support for those who are managing volunteers within their organisation. In 2017 we held 3 Forums with 49  people attending them.   
                                                            The topics covered included: Engaging with Corporate Volunteers & Engaging with the Media.
Training & Support for Volunteer Managers
Volunteer Managers Get Together
Engaging with the Media: September 2017
We offer training to Volunteer Involving Organisations to support them in managing their Volunteer Programme.

Training and ongoing support is a vital part of the service we offer to Volunteer Involving Organisation's as it gives them the capacity to strengthen their Volunteer Programme. In 2017, we offered  4 Garda Vetting Training sessions.

Charities Regulator Workshops  
Training   
In 2017, as part of a national pilot, we worked with the charities regulator to act as a local hub to support groups in the county to become compliant with the new charities regulations.
We had a list of 54 groups whom we made contact with and/or established that they were no longer in existence. We supported those who wished to become compliant. We ran a workshop for these groups in July 2017. 


Adopt a Charity Campaign
As part of the programme of events for the European capital 2017, Sligo Volunteer Centre spearheaded an Adopt a Charity Campaign. 

The concept was to assist Non Profit Groups to design volunteer roles that could engage corporate volunteers- either as individuals or a group. The engagement was to be beyond financial support and more a dontation of skills. 

The needs that came up from the exploratory session with the Not for Profits were:





















We held a speed networking session for  both parties in April 2017. This was attended by 20 local businesses and 35 not for Profit representatives. 

Connections were made and some matchs followed. We aim to revisit this concept in 2018 and foster the relationships that started.  





Attendees at the Speed Networking Event held April 2017 
Headstart 
The final round of our Headstart programme was held in the form of an Expo, showcasing Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment. 

The event allowed local groups to exhibit their opportunties to volunteers. 
There were workshops on topics like Selling Volunteering on your CV, Interview skills, Mindfullness and staying well while jobseeking & getting started as a volunteer. 

We also had a series of inspiring talks from people who found that volunteering had assisted their pathway to employment. We had 28 stands and 200 attendees.

We would like to thank our partners for this event - Ulster Bank Skills and Opportunties Fund and Collins McNicholas HR Company. 

Promotion of Volunteering
The hosting of European Volunteering Capital 2017 provided ample opportunity to promote volunteering.  
Events
St. Patricks Day Parade: Sligo Volunteer Centre had an entry in the Sligo Town St. Patricks Day Parade for the first time. We parterned with IT Sligo Students. This was part of the overall theme for  the parade - European Volunteering Capital 2017. 


Volunteer Voices: 

These were a series of Cafe Conversations held throughout the year on different topics - to get volunteers talking about their experiences and views. These were held around the County and the topics were: 

The Gender Debate in Volunteering; The Rewards & Challenges of volunteering; Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment; Volunteering in Active Age; Volunteering at Festivals and Events; Volunteering and Positive Mental Health; Volunteering Abroad. 


L: SVC Entry in St. Patricks Day Parade

R: Volunteer Voices: The Gender debate in volunteering 
We participated in and organised several forums to promote volunteering around County Sligo. These included:    

Stand at clean coasts roadshow.

Launch of National Spring Clean.

ALIVE Certificates presentation St. Angela's College.

Presentation at CEV conference in London - Developing Local Volunteering Strategies.

Presentations to students in both St. Angela's College and IT Sligo. 

Stand and info session in 2 Abbvie Sites for their Week of Wellness.

Presentation at Foroige National conference held in Sligo to mark European Volunteering Capital year. 

Stand at the Tubbercurry Old Fair Day- August 2017. 

Stand at Europe Direct Information Centre Europe Day coffee morning.

Presentation at IAVE Conference in Madrid highlighting the link between Business (Abbott Ireland ) and Voluntary Sector working together. 

Adjudicators at Europe Day debate in Sligo County Chambers.

Presentations at launch of GAA Inclusive Sports All Ireland Wheelchair Finals held in Sligo October 2017. 

Entry in Sligo Sings 2017.


Presentations
Volunteer Centre at Abbvie plant informing staff of voluntary options
National Volunteering Week 2017, was launched in Sligo to acknowledge the designation as European Volunteering Capital.   

In 2017, we took the opportunity to highlight the European Volunteering Capital Activities and hosted the Headstart Expo during National Volunteering Week. As part of the EVC year, we had a National Supplement in the Irish Independent featuring local and national stories on volunteering. 
National Volunteering Week
Surprise Visits
We decided to use the opportunity of Sligo hosting the European Volunteering Capital to say 'Thank You' to groups of volunteers. We randomly selected a few groups to surprise. We had a bouquet of chocolates made up for each group as a small token, and popped along to surprise them with it. It was a really fun way to interact with groups. 
Abbvie Week of Possibilities- June 2017
We were delighted to assist Volunteer Ireland this year with Abbvie Week of Possibilities. The chosen charity for the 2017 project was the HSE Training Centre at Ballytivnan. The Week of Possibilities allows for a large scale input from Abbvie staff to their local community. Over a 1 week period, approximately 120 employees contributed to the project in different shifts. 

The Centre received  a full makeover, new furniture, new flooring and a new chill out room inside for service users. This is an annual activity across Abbvie worldwide and we are looking forward to being involved in next year's project.
Birthday Bash - 10 years old
Sligo Volunteer Centre was established in 2007, making the Centre ten years old this year.  
We celebrated in style with a Positive Parties bash - this was a fun afternoon, where Denise from Positive parties brought us through laughter yoga, crazy games and positive affirmations.  

We had local Westlife Celebrity, Kian Egan as our special guest and of course there was cake. We were delighted to see friends, old and new, join us to celebrate the last 10 years of the Centre. 
L: Group at the Birthday Bash.


 Lower: Birthday Cake & Volunteer Centre Staff with Kian Egan
Our Impacts
According to our volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations, our work has had a significant impact on them and the community and they feel it is important that they have the support we offer. 
85% of VIOS stated that it was important for them to have the support of the VC
Of VIO's stated that without the service of the  Volunteer Centre, they would not be able to deliver programmes.  

Of VIO's say that without the support of the Volunteer Centre they would have to reduce the activities of their organisation
90% of Volunteers stated that it was important for them to have the support of the Volunteer Centre 
69%
42%
Reported an increase in sense of belonging in their community because of volunteering
42%
60%
Reported an increase in Mental Health & Wellbeing because of volunteering 
Other Promotion
We continue to grow our Social media Reach. We gained 365  'Likers' on Facebook in 2017, bringing our total followers up to 2305 by the end of 2017. We also managed the European Volunteering Capital Facebook Page for the year. We also maintained and grew a strong following on Twitter. 
Social Media
Newspapers & EBulletins
We continued to publish Community Notes in the Sligo Weekender each fortnight. We also continued to submit a regular slot to the PPN EBulletin which is sent monthly to local Community groups.     We publish a Quartlery EBulletin for Volunteer Involving Organiations and also a Quartlery bulletin for Volunteers. These methods of communication allow us to highlight volunteer opportunities as well as other news from the Centre.

In National Volunteering Week 2017, we had a National Supplement on volunteering in the Irish Independent. The EVC year also got wide local and national coverage for various events. 
Local, Regional and National Work
It is important for Sligo Volunteer Centre to be involved in local services and planning where it is relevant to volunteering and our work. In 2017 the staff of the Centre have been involved in: • Board of Sligo Citizens Information Service • Sligo Lend a Hand Committee 
• EVC Steering Committee
Local
Regional
The Connaught/Ulster Region of Centres is made up of Mayo VC, Donegal VC, Monaghan VC, Galway VC, Leitrim VIS and Roscommon VIS. The Managers of the Region meet up at least 3 times per year, to discuss regional isssues. These meetings are hosted by Sligo Volunteer Centre.
National
The staff of Sligo Volunteer Centre are committed to the National Network of Volunteer Centres and are proactive contributors to the Network and to National Working Groups and Campaigns. In 2017, staff of the Centre participated in:  

 • Volunteer Centre Managers Network  
 • Placement & Outreach Forum


We were keen to have a lasting Legacy of the EVC year and were committed to working towards this with other stakeholders - Volunteer Ireland, Western Development Commission, Abbott Ireland and Sligo County Council. The main issues we wanted to bring to the fore was the call for a National Strategy on Volunteering and also the call for the re-in-statement of the question on volunteering in the census.  
Governance & Board of Directors
Sligo Volunteer Centre is a Company Limited by Guarantee and governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. The Directors through 2017 were:  

Ms. Marie Casserly, Chairperson, Sligo County Council Elected Representative
Dr. Maria Gallo, Vice Chair, representing St. Angela's College
Mr. Larry Mullin, representing PPN
Ms. Kathya Rouse, Treasurer
Ms. Mary McMorland, Company Secretary Mr. Sean Forde, representing the community sector
Mr. Jack Devaney, representing Sligo LEADER Partnership Ms. Shupai Matewa, representing Refugee and Asylum Seekers
Ms. Dorothy Clarke, representing Sligo County Council Mr. Hugh McConville, representing Youth 
Governance Code
Sligo Volunteer Centre are committed to upholding good Governance and have started their journey with the Governance Code in 2015. The journey continues and is steered by The Governance Code Working Group - Dr. Maria Gallo, Ms. Kathya Rouse, Ms. Mary McMorland and Ms. Ciara Herity
Sligo Volunteer Centre is fully registered with the Charities Regulator. 
Company Number: 41650 CHY number: 17240
Financial Statements- YE 31st December 2017
Financial Statements- YE 31st December 2017