Letter From The Manager
I can’t say I will be sorry to say good-bye to 2020. It has been a tough year for everyone and we all need to look forward to a brighter new year. Although it has been difficult and challenging, there have been some good things this year we can celebrate. Firstly, the Manager of the Mayo Volunteer Centre Kathy Rowland welcomed twins into her life in July. They are doing very well and are looking forward to volunteering in the future! Our very best wishes to Kathy. I stepped in as the Interim Manager in early September to carry on the good work and want to the thank staff at Moy Valley Resources and our Steering Committee for supporting and helping me and the amazing staff at the Volunteer Centre who never tire of my questions. Thank you Edel, Caroline, Anthony and Frances.
I am not the only new recruit. We welcomed our new Placement Officer, Caroline Hopkins, to the Castlebar office in October and she is already doing an amazing job.
The Volunteer Centre is part of the Volunteer Ireland network and each year, awards are given for volunteers across Ireland. The awards were announced on 5th December and we had 3 winners in Mayo; Cathy Blake, who is a dedicated advocate for LGBT+ rights; Achill Community Group who supported the vulnerable, elderly and self-isolating during the Covid crisis; and the Ballyhaunis Social Inclusion Project who provide support services for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants across the country. Many congratulations to them all as they were chosen out of over 800 entrants.
During the height of the Covid crisis earlier this year, over 400 volunteers signed up with us and we engaged with over 60 organisations. The power of community spirit was humbling to witness. We became part of the Mayo Community Response Forum set up by Mayo County Council and worked with many community groups to provide volunteers across the county. We built up some great relationships which we continue to nurture and develop.
Let’s look forward to 2021 with a sense of hope and renewal. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updated information about volunteering opportunities and please get in touch if you would like to register with us. A huge thank you to all our volunteers who have worked tirelessly this year and to the not-for-profit organisations who have worked hard to contribute to their communities.
Everyone here wishes our volunteering community a very Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.