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Annual Report 2016

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Annual Report 2016

We are a Company Limited by Guarantee, with 3 Part Time Staff, numerous volunteers and a voluntary Board of Directors. What we do: • Provide a link between people interested in volunteering and non-profit groups looking for volunteers. • Advertise for volunteers on behalf of 300+ non-profit groups in Sligo and refer interested people to these groups. • Offer Volunteer Information Workshops to help people get started. • Offer training to Not for Profit Groups around Volunteer Management • Process Garda Vetting on behalf of Not for Profits

Who we are & What we do

From L-R: Staff & Volunteers of Sligo Volunteer Centre:       Paula Naughton, Volunteer Development Officer;  Ciara Herity, Manager; Riona Rochford, Volunteer Development Officer; Heidi Stemp, Social Media Volunteer; Pamela Hunter, Finance & Accounts Volunteer.

Chair Persons Address

2016 has been another very busy and engaging year for Sligo Volunteer Centre. The number of people prepared to give their time and talents freely and willingly as volunteers in the community continue to grow. It is estimated that in Sligo alone up to 7000 hours of volunteering with an economic value of €64000 are provided each week by the people of the town and County. Support and Training for this volunteering infrastructure falls in the main on the Manager and Staff of the volunteer Centre. They work tirelessly in training and supporting volunteers, in matching volunteers to community needs, in providing a Garda Vetting Service for individuals and many other services connected with the volunteer centre. On behalf of the Board I want to record our gratitude and deep appreciation for the staff of the centre in carrying out these tasks with efficiency and generosity. The workload of the Centre was added to immensely this year by preparations for 2017 when Sligo will be honoured with the award of European Capital of Volunteering for 2017. This is a singular honour for the town following on from previous cities of Barcelona, Lisbon and London. In preparation for this event the Volunteer Centre has worked closely on a committee with Sligo County Council throughout the year in order to put a plan in place to mark the great honour which the town has been given. The Council have committed a contribution of €30,000 to support events for the year, and an Official Corporate Partner - Abbott Ireland - has been secured. The gratitude of the Board is due to the generous supporters and shows the esteem that the European Capital of Volunteering is held within the County. We look forward to a very successful year in 2017. A detailed programme of events is already in place. On October 12th 2016, a seminar on volunteering strategies was held in the EU Parliament Building in Brussels. The Volunteer Centre was represented there as were a number of other voluntary organisations from the County and it proved an ideal event to launch Sligo as European Volunteering Capital 2017. For this event, a special thanks is due to MEP Marian Harkin, whose efforts got the Parliament to focus on volunteering in 2011 when the members declared that year European Year of Volunteering. There are so many other areas of work that engage the staff of the Centre throughout 2016 but I will leave that to the Managers Report. In conclusion I must thanks the Board Members and staff for the courtesy and co-operation they gave me throughout the year and over my time as Chairman. Gabhainn buiochas do ghach duine Larry Mullin Chairperson

Managers Address

2016 was another busy and successful year for the Centre. I would like to thank the staff - Riona, Paula, Olivia and Jane. In September 2016 we bid farewell to Paula as she took a year off to travel abroad and volunteer with young girls in India and Nepal. We wish Paula all the best and look forward to hearing the stories on her return. We welcomed Jane, who will replace Paula for her time away and we also welcomed back Olivia who joins us as part of the team on a temporary basis. I would also like to thank all the volunteers involved in the service, starting with the Board of Directors, who give generously of their time and are always at the end of the phone. They are - Larry Mullin, Chair; Maria Gallo, Vice Chair; Kathya Rouse, Treasurer; Mary McMoreland, Secretary; Sean Forde, Shupai Matewa; Jack Devaney; Dorothy Clarke, Marie Casserly and Hugh McConville. A huge Thank you to the volunteers who have been volunteering with us through the year - Pamela Hunter, Heidi Stemp, Des Keaney and Liam Farrell. It is a team effort in the Centre, and everyone plays their part. SVC was delighted to join in Sligo Sings 2016 and to have volunteers and staff from a variety of community groups join us this year. 2016 saw the start of our planning for Sligo hosting the European Volunteering Capital in 2017. A Steering Committee was established with representatives from Sligo Volunteer Centre, Sligo County Council & Failte Ireland. We also ran 2 parts of our Headstart programme aimed at Jobseekers, which is supported by the Skills & Opportunities Fund from Ulster Bank. This was a very worthwhile programme which we were delighted to be able to run.   2016 has been busy and we have lots to look forward to in 2017. Ciara Herity Manager Sligo Volunteer Centre

Volunteer Support Service

297 people supported to get started on their volunteer journey

14158 Hours of Volunteering contributed

239 Placements made into 61 Not for Profit Groups

22 Volunteer Information Workshops held with 78 people in attendance

Support Services to Volunteer Involving Organsations (VIO's)

Supported 126 VIO's, around their Volunteer Programmes, 15 of whom were new to the service

Promoted 175 Opportunities to volunteer - 95 of these were new

Placement rate of 45% - this means that 45% of people who wished to volunteer got started in a suitable Volunteer Opportunity

Attended Retraining in Templemore Retrained 25 Affiliates on new legislation Trained 14 new affiliates (2 training sessions) Processed 170 Garda Vetting Forms on behalf of 17 groups.

Training & Support for Volunteer Managers

We offer training to Volunteer Involving Organisations to support them in managing their Volunteer Programme. Training and ongoing support is a vital part of the service we offer to VIO's as it gives them the capacity to strengthen their Volunteer Programme. In 2016, we offered Finding & Keeping Volunteers and 3 Garda Vetting Training sessions.

We participated in and organised several forums to promote volunteering around County Sligo. These included:     Outreach in Tubbercurry, Enniscrone and Ballymote Prsentations to students in both St. Angelas College and IT Sligo Attending launch of LECP (Local Economic and Community Plan) Attending launch of Europe Direct Centre, Sligo Stand in AIB Sligo to promote volunteering Talk at Sligo Tidy Towns Volunteer Night

Volunteer Managers Get Togethers

We facilitate 4-5 Volunteer Managers Get Togethers during the year.                                                           These forums offer a network of peer support for those who are managing volunteers within their organisation. In 2016 we held 4 Forums with 28 people attending them.                                                               The topics covered included: Making your Volunteer Role attractive; Inclusiveness in your volunteering programme and Involving Young People as volunteers.

Promotion of Volunteering

Promotions in AIB Bank. Thanks to volunteers Mary Abidoun and Barry Finan

Right: Sligo Volunteer Centre Choir in action

Sligo Sings

Sligo Volunteer Centre joined in again in 2016 with Sligo Sings. This year a number of volunteers and staff from other community sector groups joined us. It was great fun and a good way to promote volunteering and have fun at the same time. This initiative was organised by the Hawkswell Theatre who provided each Choir with a Choirmaster for a 6 week period. It culminated in a performance in the Hawkswell Theatre in November 2016 with 11 other choirs.

Abbvie Week of Possibilities- June 2016

We were delighted to assist Volunteer Ireland this year with Abbvie Week of Possibilities. The chosen charity for the 2016 project was Northside Community Centre Forthill. The Week of Possibilities allows for a large scale input from Abbvie staff to their local community. Over a 1 week period, approximately 120 employees contributed to the project in different shifts. The Centre received  a full makeover, a new computer suite, new windows and a regenerated garden and outdoor area. The impact on the Centre was that both the users and the volunteers of the Centre have been given a new lease of life. This is an annual activity across Abbvie worldwide and we are looking forward to being involved in next year's project.

Below Left: Abbvie Staff hard at work; Below Right: Northside Thank the volunteers; Above: Ciara from SVC getting stuck in

Sligo Volunteer Centre used this opportunity to promote Volunteering and the service. During National Volunteering Week we promoted Sligo Volunteer Centre through Coffee Shop Ambassadors and ran a free tea/coffee promotion for the first 3 people to present and say 'National Volunteering Week'

National Volunteering Week

Body L: Thanks to Drumcliffe Teahouse and R; Sweetbeat Cafe for their support

HEADSTART

In December 2015, we successfully got funding from the Ulster Bank Skills & Opportunities Programme to run a programme aimed at unemployed people who wanted to volunteer as a pathway to employment. The first 2 rounds of the programme were held from March 2016 -June 2016 and again from September 2016-November 2016. The aim of the programme was to place a volunteer in a role that would complement their job search. Alongside this we would run workshops that would focus on how they could sell their Voluntary experience on a CV and in Interview, how to stay positive during the job search. In the second round we also included how to stay fit and healthy by adding a session demonstrating the equipment in the outdoor gym and a basic cookery demo. 32 people participated in the programme over the 2 rounds. Participants were given the option to avail of the support of a mentor to give advice on their CV and Interview skills.  9 people availed of this support. Two mentors participated on the programme as volunteers. We would like to thank Collins McNicholas recruitment agency & HSE Mental Health Services & Sligo Sports Partnership who also volunteered their time to assist in facilitating on the programme.

Right: A quote from Christopher, a participant on the programme.

60% of participants said they have benefitted from increased confidence as a result of their participation.

5 participants from Round 1 went on to employment or schemes. We have yet to follow up on Round 2.

Globe House Polytunnel Project

In late 2015, we received a donation from Mr. Cyril O' Connor, a former staff member. The donation was to assist with Refugee and Asylum Seeker integration in Sligo. We linked with Diversity Sligo who had plans to develop a Polytunnel project in Globe House, the local reception Centre.A Polytunnel was erected in August 2015. It is 18 ft x 24ft and a door either end with mesh in the upper part of the door for ventilation. 8 wooden beds were ordered and the residents helped to assemble the beds. 3 days were spent filling the beds with soil and compost and then plug plants went in - spinach, kales, salads, sping onions, herbs and tomatoes. A number of other vegetables were grown from seed - Beetroot, Cabbage, scallions and spinach.3 miniture Apple trees and a grape vine have been bought to grow in the tunnel also. Residents can sign out the key from reception and visit the tunnel to water, plant or weed. There have been 5 cooking days where produce was used to cook African food, and also a harvesting day, where residents who had helped in the tunnel picked for themselves. There are plans for an Irish cooking day and a number of men want to do a Muslim cooking day this Spring. Approximatley 12 residents have signed up to work in the tunnel and 8 women who cook a range of African and Asian foods with the produce. By February 2016 a planting schedule will be agreed going forward - chilli pepper, tomatoes, corn and spinach are on the list. A support worker and one resident, Ahmed, who is from Bangladesh are doing a course on poly tunnel growing in the Organic Centre, Rossinver in Spring 2016. All in all, residents are enjoying being involved in the project and hopefully it will continue to go from strength to strength.  

EVC 2017 Preparations

The planning phase for the European volunteering Capital celebrations begun in earnest in Spring 2016. A Steering committee was formed with input from Sligo Volunteer Centre, Sligo County Council and Marian Harkin, MEP. The planning focussed on the potential legacy and outcomes from the year, as well as planning an opening ceremony and other events.

In October 2016, Marian Harkin MEP organised a symposium in Brussels to officially recognise Sligo's upcoming designation of European Volunteering Capital. Representatives from the EVC Steering Committee, Sligo Volunteer Centre, Sligo County Council and volunteers who won Cathaoirleach Awards in 2015 all attended. European Volunteering Strategies were discussed and the importance of cohesive European Strategies. Sligo County Matters TV programme & Ocean FM were also present to capture the occasion which later aired on Irish TV.

Above: In September 2016, Sligo Volunteer Centre played host to representatives from the volunteer centre in Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality, in Denmark. They were putting together their pitch for the  EVC Capital Competition for 2018.

In October 2016 we engaged the services of Starling Media & Storylab for Project Management and PR services. They will be engaged right through until January 2018.

Other Promotion

We continue to grow our Social media Reach. We gained 684 'Likers' on Facebook in 2016, bringing our total followers up to 1939 by the end of 2016. We also maintained and grew a strong following on Twitter. Our Social Media successes in 2016 were down to the input of our Social Media Volunteer - Heidi Stemp who we would like to thank. Heidi also had a post 'go viral' about a search for a sippy cup for a boy with Autism. She even had a radio slot to discuss the appeal!

Social Media

Newspapers & EBulletins

We continued to publish Community Notes in the Sligo Weekender each fortnight. We also continued to submit a regular slot to the PPN EBulletin which is sent monthly to local Community groups.     We publish a Quartlery EBulletin for Volunteer Involving Organiations and also a Quartlery bulletin for Volunteers. These methods of communication allow us to highlight volunteer opportunities as well a other news from the Centre.

Local, Regional and National Work

It is important for Sligo Volunteer Centre to be involved in local services and planning where it is relevant to volunteering and our work. In 2016 the staff of the Centre have been involved in: • Board of Sligo Citizens Information Service • Sligo Lend a Hand Committee • Participating in & contributing to Sligo Local Economic & Community    Plan Consultations

Local

Regional

The Connaught/Ulster Region of Centres is made up of Mayo VC, Donegal VC, Monaghan VC, Galway VC, Leitrim VIS and Roscommon VIS. The Managers of the Region meet up at least 3 times per year, to discuss regional isssues. These meetings are facilitated by Sligo Volunteer Centre.

National

The staff of Sligo Volunteer Centre are committed to the National Network of Volunteer Centres and are proactive contributers to the Network and to National Working Groups and Campaigns. In 2016, staff of the Centre participated in: Volunteer Centre Managers Network Placement & Outreach Forum VCNM Chairs Panel Quality Standards Working group Also we went through the Quality Review process ourselves in 2016. We have a few actions to complete before we acheive the National Quality Standard.

Governance & Board of Directors

Sligo Volunteer Centre is a Company Limited by Guarantee and governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. The Directors through 2016 were: Mr. Larry Mullin, Chair, representing PPN Dr. Maria Gallo, Vice Chair, representing St. Angela's College Ms. Kathya Rouse, Treasurer Ms. Mary McMorland, Company Secretary Mr. Sean Forde Mr. Jack Devaney, representing Sligo LEADER Partnership Ms. Shupai Matewa Ms. Dorothy Clarke, representing Sligo County Council Mr. Hugh McConville, representing Youth Ms. Marie Casserly, Sligo County Council Elected Representative

Governance Code

Sligo Volunteer Centre are committed to upholding good Governance and have started their journey with the Governance Code in 2015. The journey continues and is steered by The Governance Code Working Group - Dr. Maria Gallo, Ms. Kathya Rouse, Ms. Mary McMorland and Ms. Ciara Herity

Sligo Volunteer Centre is fully registered with the Charities Regulator. Sligo Volunteer Centre are part of a national rollout by all Volunteer Centres to act as hubs for local Community Groups in need of support around engaging with the CRA.

Charities Regulation

Company Number: 41650 CHY number: 17240

Financial Statements- YE 31st December 2016

Financial Statements- YE 31st December 2016