independent

Saturday 24 August 2019

Volunteer site seeks 'Mother Teresa effect'

NEW WEXFORD WEB INITIATIVE

MARIA PEPPER

COUNTY WEXFORD people with spare time on their hands are being encouraged to get the 'Mother Teresa Effect'.

They can do so by logging on to a new website and offering a few hours work to a voluntary organisation or club.

The new initiative called wexfordvolunteer.ie has been launched to connect organisations in need of support with people who want to do voluntary work.

Research shows that it won't be the sports club or the charity that will benefit.

A study carried out by Harvard University identified what is called the 'Mother Teresa Effect.'

This is the sense of well-being you experience from helping others.

Doing good things for others has the ability to lower stress levels, increase happiness, boost self-esteem and reduce anger.

It is also called the ' helper's halo' with scientists saying that altruism leads to improved mental and physical health.

The County Wexford website is a joint initiative by Wexford Local Development and County Wexford Community Forum which is under the umbrella of Wexford County Council.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer can now go to the online bureau at wexfordvolunteer.ie and search through a list of categories from environmental and community groups to fundraising charities and football clubs.

Groups seeking help can register on the site and upload vacancies that volunteers apply for online.

In the current recession, more people have more spare time due to rising unemployment while many non-profit organisations are struggling to cope with reduced funding and resources.

Volunteering is a mutually beneficial exchange as it offers people of all ages the flexible chance to try out new areas of work and boost their CV's while bringing skills and energy to organisations that rely on public support.

The website gives advice on the rights and responsibilities of volunteers and the groups that take them on.

The website was officially launched in Wexford County Council headquarters in Carricklawn by Council chairperson Kathleen Codd Nolan.

Cllr. Codd Nolan and Mary Farrell, chairperson of County Wexford Community Forum addressed the attendance.

They spoke about the high level of volunteerism in Wexford and encouraged people to use the new website.

Fran Ryan of Wexford Local Development described it as vital new resource for the county and said its success will entirely depend on people using it.

'People can continue to use their existing networks but this service will enhance the link between groups and volunteers, especially as more and more people of all ages are using social media to access information,' he said.

The website with its logo was designed by Jennifer O'Brien of 2Cubed in Enniscorthy.

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