This year was the first time that UCD Career Development Service ran the UCD Volunteer Fair as a stand alone event. Previously the event was ran in partnership with the internship fair, however this year the Global Lounge played host to almost 30 visiting community based and voluntary organisations which aimed to give students a chance to find out more about volunteering opportunities available to them.
Working in conjunction with UCD in the Community, UCD Career Development service welcomed local, national and international organisations to Belfield where they set up for the day to speak with staff and students interested in finding out more about volunteering with their initiatives.
Some of the organisations that attended included Aiesec Iin Ireland, An Gaisce - The President's Award, Teenline, Le Cheile Mentoring and Youth Services, Seal Rescue Ireland and Alzheimers Ireland to name a few. The Gardai were also on site to recruit for their new intake of Garda reserve volunteers.
Sunbeam House Services who brought some of their residents along with them were a big hit on the day and many of the students who met with them were inspired to sign up to volunteer.
There was a great atmosphere in The Global Lounge throughout the Fair as the students engaged with the exhibitors. Some furry friends who came along with The Irish Guidedogs for the Blind were a particular hit among visitors. We also had a special guest appearance from a seal from Seal Rescue Ireland visit!
One of the main aims of the Fair was also to draw attention to the amazing new platform that UCD students can now benefit from through StudentVolunteer.ie. Deirdre O'Sullivan from UCD in the Community, who manages the site in UCD said "This website is an amazing one stop shop for students looking to volunteer. The opportunities are all listed in one place with each listing outlining exactly what the volunteer can expect from the placement -how many hours commitment are requested, what skills the volunteer will learn, if any training is required etc etc. Students can search for opportunities by location or by category and find one that suits both their personality and their timetable. There is something for everyone. "
Approxamately 350 students attended the lunchtime event. There were some valuable lessons and insights learned which will hopefully contribute to an even better 2nd UCD Volunteer Fair next year.
UCD students are encouraged to sign up and find an opportunity to become more engaged with our communities- locally nationally and internationally. The skills learned through volunteering, such as leadership, teamwork, communication, relationship building and time management to name a few can all contribute to a better student experience and life long learning.
A special mention goes to Rida Mahmood, a second year student, who was the winner of the iPad draw. Congratulations Rida!
StudentVolunteer.ie 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