Volunteering site sees 400pc rise in traffic

16 Feb 2011

VSO Ireland, an international development charity, has experience a 400pc rise in traffic in January due to increased interest in volunteering.

The site’s traffic grew hugely last month and the VSO also found the number of people attending talks has doubled.

VSO attributes this partly to the recession. Thanks to the high rate of jobless figures, many people simply have more time to devote themselves to volunteering opportunities.

The charity also said the increase is due to how people are looking at alternative ways to use their skills and experience.

“What we hear back from volunteers, and from research supported by VSO, 94pc of employers agree or strongly agree that long-term overseas voluntary activities broaden skills and experiences, and 48pc claim that it increases employability,” said VSO’s public engagement manager, Deirdre Finlay.

The VSO research found that the top motivation for people to volunteer within their own community was to “give something back” at 79pc.

The main reason for people volunteering overseas was seen to be “to improve things and help people” at 65pc.

Lower on the list of motivations was career building, with 16pc volunteering to “learn new skills” and 12pc volunteering “as a route to professional development.”

The average age of a VSO volunteer is 42 and the organisation said that older and retired volunteers were welcome, too.

VSO Ireland currently requires education and business professionals, along with doctors and nurses to volunteer for one to two years.

The organisation provides a living allowance, accommodation, insurance and flights.