Mr Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and local Government confirmed today (29 January,2016) that the new Tipperary Volunteer Centre will receive a total allocation of €142,169 in 2016.
Under the Local Government Reform Act (2014), the respective Councils of North and South Tipperary merged to form the new Tipperary County Council. This amalgamation has, the Minister said, ‘proved positive for the county, its administration and most importantly for its people and their communities’.
As the only Volunteer Centre in the county, South Tipperary Volunteer Centre, while resourced by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to provide coverage to the traditional area of South Tipperary, also provided support as far as was possible to organisations and individuals in North Tipperary. However, the need and indeed demand for a county-wide service is evident to all.
As a result, in order to support greater coherence at local level and in recognition of a need to develop a county-wide service, Minister Kelly is pleased to approve additional funding of €35,000 for South Tipperary Volunteer Centre to allow it expand its remit to the whole of County Tipperary, with the centre being rebranded to become Tipperary Volunteer Centre.
Minister Kelly acknowledged the willingness of the South Tipperary Volunteer Centre, in conjunction with stakeholders in the North Tipperary area, to extend Volunteer Centre coverage to the county as a whole. He stated “I am delighted to announce the provision of additional volunteering funding for Tipperary. The total allocated will give the Volunteer Centre a real basis for their planning of service delivery for the entire community within the County”.
The Minister went on to say that the value of Volunteer Centres and volunteering cannot be overstated. In 2015, over 14,400 volunteers engaged with I-VOL, the national database of volunteering organisations and listings, and local Volunteer Centres and volunteers clocked up some 470,000 hours of volunteering. Volunteer Centres facilitate the placement of volunteers working within community and voluntary organisations. Without active volunteers, communities simply cannot flourish. It is ordinary people, who have a sense of social concern, shared values and a pride in their community who work in the background and help to keep organisations, projects and events afloat that make the difference.
The Minister concluded in saying that his Department’s Community & Voluntary Supports & Programmes provides a cohesive framework of support for the community and voluntary sector. “The funding of all these organisations is designed to strengthen and foster volunteerism in Ireland, building a support structure for volunteering locally from the bottom up. This is a key to the Department’s citizen engagement objectives and supports the spirit of participation in communities.’