Latest News to maximise impact by expanding to third level institutions nationwide


University of Limerick (UL) will lead ( into its next phase, scaling the service offering to all higher education institutions across Ireland and attracting new strategic partnerships. UL was selected following a competitive process to lead the platform, management of which is transferring from the Irish Universities Association (IUA), with several university partners from across the sector. University College Dublin, University College Cork, Technological University of Dublin, University of Galway, together with UL, will utilise the platform to maximise the impact of student volunteering in Ireland, which has seen an average of 18,000 students engaged in volunteering with an economic value of close to €30 million per year. 


There are already 20,000 students registered on, which was launched in 2016 as an online platform to match student volunteers with community action projects and to work in partnership with local, and global nonprofit organisations. The ambition for the platform is to significantly scale numbers, societal and economic impact based on the proven approach that has been developed by UL, UCD, UCC, TU Dublin and University of Galway to date. 


The announcement coincides with International Volunteer Day on December 5, and UL’s annual President’s Volunteer Award (PVA) Ceremony at which an impressive 530 UL students are receiving awards.  


Speaking about the new leadership role for, Chair of IUA and President of University of Limerick, Professor Kerstin Mey said:  

“We are very ambitious about the next phase of this valuable service. UL has always put community engagement at the heart of our mission. Our Irish and international student volunteers act as role models for our at-risk children and young people and are essential to running community programmes and delivering local community-based services. 


At UL we place a high value on student volunteering which is reflected in our annual President’s Volunteer Awards. Students also directly benefit from volunteering, growing in confidence and gaining work-ready skills such as teamwork, project management, public speaking and more.” 


The next phase for will be led by Ireland’s prominent expert in student volunteering, Dr Lorraine Tansey, who launched and scaled the hugely successful ALIVE Programme in University of Galway, running for nineteen years. Lorraine is recognised globally as a champion for pushing student volunteering practice and impact to new summits.  


Dr Tansey is also currently a member of Ireland’s National Volunteer Strategy Implementation Group and will be taking up a post in UL as part of the expansion. Dr Tansey said: 

“I am driven by the student appetite for hands-on opportunities to make an impact and change within communities. I know from an abundance of evidence, that student volunteering has profound and lasting positive effects on students during their university experience. Volunteering gives students a sense of purpose, fuels ambition to address disadvantage in community settings, supports active citizenship and safeguards against isolation and disengagement.” 


Kate Morris, Irish Universities Association, said:  


“Evidence from the 2023 Student Engagement indicates we are greatly underserving a demand for volunteering opportunities from universities, technological universities and institutes of technology students, at all levels.  


The time is right to move from proof-of-concept to full-scale implementation of across every campus and community in Ireland. To do this the system needs, and deserves, dedicated expert leadership, and greater involvement of students working at the frontline and on campus.” 


Alongside the 20,000 students already registered on the portal, there are 945 community-based organisation staff actively posting, and 298,569 hours logged as volunteered by students, across Irish rural and urban community settings, delivering services and generating funds to keeps community services operating. This next phase will increase the level and intensity of engagement with students, community-based organisations, government and corporate sponsors across the regions; and better link the service and platform with national and global volunteering infrastructures. 



Join Us! enables students to have the opportunity to: enrich your personal development and employability skills, have a fun experience, meet new people, and give back to your community. Sign up now.

Register Now