1. Why set up the volunteer corps?
The notion of a county-wide volunteer corps was mooted originally in the “ideas campaign” run during 2009. However, the idea became more focused during the bad weather events in Ireland, when many volunteers expressed an interest in “doing something” to help out in their community but were unable to find a formal way of being involved.
Also, with 2011 being the European Year of Volunteering, we were hoping to create project in South Dublin County that would have a lasting effect after the year.
2. Who has responsibility for the Corps?
The South Dublin County Volunteer Corps is a project run jointly by South Dublin County Council and South Dublin County Volunteer Centre.
3. How does it work?
Local Community & Voluntary groups in South Dublin County will apply to the Corps in the Volunteer Centre for the services of the Volunteer Corps. Once it has been established that the project has the necessary supports (including clear volunteering roles, insurance, co-ordinator), then the Volunteer Corps members will be contacted (by text and email) to inform them of an upcoming event. Once the members of the Corps say they are ready and able they will be informed of the place, contact person, roles and times etc…
4. How can I apply for the Volunteer Corps for my project?
Your can register online directly by going to www.volunteercorps.ie or you can contact us at the volunteer centre for a hard copy of the application form. Our contact details are below.
5. What type of screening do we do for members of the Corps?
We will be taking up 2 written references for each member of the Corps. At the moment we do not envisage carrying out Garda Vetting of all Corps members as vetting is only required where volunteers are doing relevant work as defined by the vetting act. We envisage the projects just to be a few hours duration so, in our opinion, there is no vetting required in this instance. However, the onus will be on the organisation that is involving the Corps to ensure that volunteers are not placed in situations where they are individually alone with children or vulnerable adults.
6. What type of work will the Corps do?
The Corps is being set up to respond to various extreme weather events as well as responding to calls for large groups of people to volunteer at community events such as concerts, environmental events, sporting events and community events. Roles may include community clean-ups, tree-planting, stewarding, crowd control, snow clearing plus much more. It is expected that much of the work will be outdoor and include some physical activity. It is important to note that the Corps will not be asked to engage in any fund-raising roles for organisations.
7. What is the age profile of volunteers?
The minimum age for joining the Corps will be 18 years.
8. What does my organisation need to do now to involve the Corps?
Fill in the application form for the Corps online. Please note, we do need at least 2 weeks notification in order to mobilise the Corps.
Once we have your application, we will get in touch with you to ascertain that certain requirements have been fulfilled.
- You must have your own insurance in place to cover the work of the Corps. Normally, public liability insurance will cover such events but please check with your insurers. South Dublin County Council and South Dublin County Volunteer Centre will not accept any liability out of claims arising from the Corps being involved in a public event.
- There needs to a central point of contact person/co-ordinator for the Corps who they will report to on the day of the project and who will oversee their work.
- There must be a clear project and role descriptions for the work of the Corps.
Once all of these requirements are fulfilled, we will contact the Corps. A week before the event, we will forward you the number of people who will be involved and their contact details.
9. Is there anything else I should think of?
Just bear in mind that if you are involving the Corps in an event, you should arrange some time before the event to meet them and brief them on their work (on the day will be fine). So when filling in your application, please remember to pencil in time to brief the Corps on their roles on the day.
10. Who do I get more information from/answer to?
The Corps is a project of South Dublin County Volunteer Centre and South Dublin County Council. The volunteers will be managed by a staff member in the Volunteer Centre who will take both applications from organisations for the Corps and inform members of the Corps of upcoming projects and events. Other supports in terms of funding, HR support will also come from South Dublin County Council.
The Volunteer Centre staff will be more than happy to respond to any requests from your organisation for further supports in developing volunteer roles and implementing good practice in managing volunteers. Check out our website for details of our volunteer management training and for articles on volunteering.