Monaghan Volunteer Centre take part in National Volunteer Management Conference

Monaghan Volunteer Centre staff member Sinéad Keenan and local volunteer Carmel McArdle recently spoke at the National Volunteer Management Conference. The conference is an annual event organised by Volunteer Ireland and this year it took place at the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin. Speakers at the conference included Minister Séan Canney and Volunteer Ireland CEO Ms Nina Arwitz. 

Sinéad and Carmel took part in a panel discussion on the importance of finding the right match between a volunteer and a voluntary organisation. Also included in the discussion were volunteer managers from Alone and St. Francis’ Hospice. Carmel described how she visited Monaghan Volunteer Centre after she retired. She wanted to volunteer in a primary school, having volunteered in a secondary school in the past. The Volunteer Centre did not have any volunteer roles with schools available but Sinéad contacted a couple of local schools and explained Carmel’s interest and experience.  

One of the schools was interested and the principal and infant teacher met with Carmel and discussed what she could do. Within a few months of first visiting Monaghan Volunteer Centre, Carmel had started volunteering in the school. Carmel is really enjoying her volunteering and plans to continue it long term. Having an extra adult available for part of the week allows the infant teacher to do extra activities such as taking the children on nature walks. 

Asked by Amy Woods of Volunteer Ireland for advice to organisations thinking of involving volunteers, Sinéad suggested that any voluntary organisation with a volunteer role should contact their local Volunteer Centre, even if they are not sure the role will be popular. It is difficult to predict the roles that volunteers might be interested in getting involved with. The Volunteer Centre is a free service and meets a wide range of potential volunteers.  

Also at the conference were Sinéad’s colleague Grace Sherry and Marina McKenna. Marina is the coordinator of Befriending Monaghan and Helping Hands projects, both of which support older people.  Befriending Monaghan volunteers visit older people once a week to provide company and conversation. Helping Hands volunteers do small odd jobs and repairs for older people and people with disabilities. Both services are free of charge. Marina would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in using either service. You can contact Marina at 087 0656793 (Monday to Wednesday) or   or read more at MID Services for Older People

If you are interested in volunteering or finding new volunteers for your non-profit organsiation please contact Grace Sherry or Sinéad Keenan at 047 72191 or   or visit 

The Volunteer Centre, Helping Hands and Befriending Monaghan are part of the range of programmes delivered by Monaghan Integrated Development (MID) within Co Monaghan. For more information on MID visit or contact 042 9749500.