A UNIQUE opportunity for people in the wider Buncrana area to find out more about their local community groups and organisations is being offered later this month.

On Tuesday, July 9th, local groups will gather at St. Mary’s Hall in Buncrana to showcase their organisation at the first Buncrana Volunteer fair.

The fair, which is being organised by Inishowen Development Partnership in association with Donegal Volunteers Centre, will give people the chance to get to know what community groups and organisations are active in their area.

People will be able to find out more about the services that the groups offer, whilst also discovering volunteering opportunities that could be out there for them.

IDP previously held successful volunteer fairs in Carndonagh and Greencastle but Development Officer with IDP, Áine McLaughlin, said they are delighted to bring it to Inishowen’s largest town and help highlight the volunteering opportunities in the wider Buncrana area.

“The Buncrana area is a very active area for community groups and organisations so we are happy to be able to assist the groups in showcasing what is on offer and maybe finding a new volunteer or two,” outlined Áine.

“This free event provides an opportunity for individuals to meet and chat face to face with the local groups in their area – it is also a great networking event for the groups themselves giving them a chance to connect with other local groups and develop new ideas.

“So whether you are a student, retired, a business owner, new to the area or simply wanting to find out more about what is on offer in the wider Buncrana area, this event could be ideal for you, and an ideal chance to really see how much is going on locally” added Áine.  

As part of the preparation for the volunteer fair, IDP and Donegal Volunteer Centre also hosted a workshop with some of the groups who have already signed up on volunteer management and retention.

Vibrant Inishowen

Eamonn Bonner, Volunteer Support Officer with DVC said they are delighted to collaborate with IDP for this event.

“We have a long-shared history of providing services on volunteering in Inishowen,” said Eamonn.

“Volunteering helps you connect with your community and in the vibrant community and voluntary sector in Inishowen this is evident.

“We look forward to the event and meeting groups and individuals in Buncrana on July 9,” added Eamonn.

As well as the workshop with the groups, IDP also hosted a separate workshop for new arrivals to Buncrana to help prepare them for volunteering in Ireland and familiarise them with local groups and the potential volunteering opportunities.

Connecting Communities Officer, Maggie Toland said they had a massive response from people in the new communities, who have a keen interest in becoming involved in local organisations.

“There are a lot of great skills and talented people who have time to give and want to connect locally,” she added.

Brashing with IRT

Recently Inishowen River’s Trust and IDP collaborated on a volunteering event in Glentogher where more than 30 people from the IPAs centres in Buncrana came together in a project aimed at preventing river erosion.

Liz Doherty, of IRT, who will also be attending the Volunteer Fair on July 9th, said the one off event they held last month was a huge success and paid tribute to the people from the IPAs centre.

“The group in Glentogher consisted of 27 adults and four teenagers and I have to say they worked diligently and enthusiastically,” said Liz.

“We worked for two hours collecting brash bundles that will be used to prevent river erosion and the group collected a huge amount. We all joined together after for a much-deserved cup of tea and some snacks.”

Fellow IDP Connecting Communities officer Patricia Higgins said events like this highlight the need there is for extra manpower – whether it be through one-off opportunities like this or more sustained committed volunteering.

Stands at the Fair are completely free however space is limited so if you are interested in showcasing your local group get in touch today to book your spot by calling us on 07493 62218 or email rachel@inishowen.ie