2014 was another busy year in Sligo Volunteer Centre. In addition to the 2000 or so volunteers who are already on our books, we have dealt with 383 new queries in 2014. We promoted 237 opportunities to volunteer and a further 25 Volunteer Involving Organisations registered with our service.
Our theme for 2014 was 'Volunteering & Wellbeing' as we feel that there are huge benefits in physical and mental well being when you are engaged in your community and actively volunteering. All staff attended Mental Health Awareness training, we got behind the Green Ribbon Campaign and the year culminated in us offering a 'Volunteering & Wellbeing series' of 3 seminars around promoting positive mental health in your organisation, Disability Awareness in your organisation and a Self Care seminar where we all learned tips for looking after ourselves in this busy world we live in.
National Volunteering Week 2014, saw us hosting a Volunteer Expo, at which we launched a photography competition - Snap the Spirit of Volunteerism. We also launched an Ambassadors Programme called Get Connected-Get Volunteering, whereby we engaged a number of volunteers around County Sligo to assist us in extending our reach into different communities. They attended local events, distributed flyers locally and were our eyes and ears on the ground.
2014 was the first year we were working with a Marketing Strategy, which had been developed by one of our interns. As a result of this, and us having another dedicated intern looking after our Promotions, we seen a huge increase in our on-line footprint. Facebook users grew by 33% over the year, and Twitter became an all important tool for us as well.
We were also delighted to be able to offer a variety of training and upskilling opportunities to Volunteer Involving Organisaitons - we offered Digital Marketing training, Garda Vetting workshops, Finding & Keeping Volunteers sessions and of course the Volunteering & Wellbeing series.
As we head towards our 10th year in existence in 2016, we have a new Strategic Plan in place to take us to this point.
I would like to thank all the staff, volunteers, Board Directors and all who have contributed to the service throughout the year.
We look forward to continued collaboration with you all in 2015.
Manager Sligo Volunteer Centre