Volunteer Support Service

This proved to be a rewarding service, albeit demanding in terms of co-ordinating and supervising.

The response for potential volunteers to Cúnamh was positive and of the highest quality in terms of professional skills and training among the applicants.

By invoking a referral system, and conducting interviews with applicants, this consolidated examples of best practice, already established. As an aside, some volunteers were not employed as a result of this, who otherwise may have become involved with Cúnamh. This is no reflection on their calibre, more of the high standards Cúnamh has set in place. These have been endorsed by subsequent Government Reports, e.g. Parkes Report on Counselling in N. Ireland; Cúnamh has in place all of the guidelines (and more) laid done by such reports relating to ethics, codes of practice and accreditation.

The need to increase the volunteer base came from the Saville Inquiry and the necessity to provide emotional support in the Guildhall. All volunteers undertook training relevant to the work they would be involved in. Ongoing professional and personal development was catered for as the needs arose and their tasks became more demanding. Despite the intensity, this continued to enhance models of best practice and safety for the volunteers and the service user.

FACTORS IN VOLUNTEERING

  • Community-based initiative
  • Residual effect of conflict; need to empower local community
  • Impact of conflict on community
  • Need for such service
  • Identification Common Heritage
  • Personal experiences of prejudice and stigma
  • Bloody Sunday
  • General Profile of Caring Person