Interested in making a difference? Come along to the Volunteer Fair in Carndonagh on Thursday 16th June at the Colgan Hall, Carndonagh.

Following on from Carndonagh Smart Village training and the needs highlighted through the ‘Envision Inishowen’ series in 2021, Carndonagh is hosting a Volunteer Fair on Thursday 16th June from 7-9pm in the Colgan Hall. The whole idea of smart communities is about sharing information, finding ways to work together better, working smarter not harder, and encouraging new people to get involved. Most of the volunteer opportunities are practical, from gardening, clean ups, administration, painting to organising events.  Every type of activity, skill and interest can be an opportunity to make Carn a great place to live, work and play!

This event will provide an opportunity for individuals to meet and chat face-to-face with local groups and clubs in Carndonagh. Áine Mc Laughlin, Development Officer Inishowen Development Partnership explains “Whether you’re a student, retired, a business owner, or are simply curious about volunteering or want to find out more about what’s on offer in Carndonagh, this event is ideal for you.”

The Fair expects to showcase 20 plus Carndonagh clubs, groups and charities representing a wide range of organisations – from sport clubs to community groups and the arts, and more. Everyone is welcome to come stroll around the many stalls which will be exhibiting on the night and learn about volunteer opportunities and general information about the amazing work non-profits are doing in Carndonagh. Interested volunteers are encouraged to attend and learn more about the fantastic work, with no obligation to join.

Volunteer Fair Organisers:

Front Row: Denise Mc Cool, Inishowen Development Partnership; John Doherty, Colgan Community & Resource Centre; Alison Mc Laughlin, Donegal Volunteers Centre; Helen Nolan, Spraoi agus Spórt; Back Row: Aine Mc Laughlin, Inishowen Development Partnership; Sandra Leeper, Colgan Community & Resource Centre; Philip Mc Laughlin, Carndonagh GAA Club & Barrack Hill Town Park, & the Christmas Tree Committee; Rachel Grant, Inishowen Development Partnership; Ailish Tully, 8th Donegal Scouts Carndonagh & St Patricks GNS Carndonagh

The Fair is open to all ages and there is no need to book, just come along. Helen Nolan, Co-Founder & CEO, Spraoi agus Spórt added “The Volunteer Fair will be a great opportunity for members of the community both young and old who would like to consider volunteering their time to see the variety of opportunities that are available locally in Carndonagh.  Volunteers make a real difference to the lives of others, and I would encourage anyone who has an hour to spare be it weekly, monthly, or annually to come along and meet the great organisations who will be there on the night.”

This event has come about through Smart Village training run by Inishowen Development Partnership.

Joint CEO Andrew Ward sees great value in the Smart Village training, “not only is it a way to gather up to date information in each area, it’s a great opportunity to listen to what are the needs of communities, and the solutions and ideas that they share with each other and IDP. Communities know best what they need and how to work together locally.”  The Smart Village training was funded through the LEADER programme. 

Carlene Lyttle who is the Smart Village trainer working across Inishowen, explains “Technology is only a small part of working smartly, it’s a tool, and we want it to be part of the solution. A core concept of smart villages is valuing the role volunteers play in the development of their communities. In the Smart Villages training we actively seek to understand the needs, interest, and skills of residents. The volunteer event is a unique opportunity to do this.”

IDP Community Development Officer Denise Mc Cool concludes “The connection and opportunities that working together can add for organisations and communities is something we saw within areas across Inishowen during the Envision workshops last year and again through the Smart Village training.  The Volunteer Fair in Carn is another on the ground community initiative that allows people interested in volunteering a ‘one stop’ evening to hear what’s going on and learn just how much is happening locally. On the other side too, it gives groups a chance to let people know how and who they can contact, and the short and longer-term opportunities available to volunteer. This is also a good opportunity for volunteers of all ages, from TY and LCA students to retired or empty nesters who have maybe now a little more time and want to try something new.”

The evening is aiming to be informal and informative, a drop by and browse the stalls event.  You can pick up info, chat to groups, find out what is going on and then consider your options, if any, that suit on the night. Or just take the information away and decide later.

Groups and clubs from the wider Carndonagh area interested in showcasing their organisations at the Fair can contact Aine, Inishowen Development Partnership on Tel: (074) 9362218 / 086 1028846 or email