Friday, June 10, 2022

Pictured from left: Derek Fanning (Manager, Tipperary Volunteer Centre), Deirdre Power (Secretary WVC), Catherine Power (Treasurer), Minister of State Joe O’Brien (GP), Karen McGrath (Director), John Hawkes (Director), May Dole (Director), Pat Power (Treasurer) and Nina Arwitz (CEO, Volunteer Ireland). 

Photos: John Power  


LOCATED at Manor Village on the Cork Road, the Waterford Volunteer Centre (WVC) was officially opened on Monday, May 9 by Community Development Minister Joe O’Brien (GP).  


The centre has been operational since January 18,  2021 following several years of hard graft which led to the delivery of a full-time volunteer service to Waterford.  


As was noted at the opening, the dedication of the centre’s voluntary Board of Directors has been evident given the impact it has had since its inception.  


City & County Mayor Joe Kelly (Ind) spoke at the launch about the importance of volunteers to our communities and how the centre would be instrumental in providing support to volunteerism across Waterford. 


Speaking at the official opening, WVC Chairperson Catherine Power praised the Board for its diligence, especially when it came to setting up the organisation during the pandemic, which forced meetings online.  


Ms Power also thanked the Department of Rural and Community Development and Volunteer Ireland for their respective levels of support in developing the centre.  


Deputies Marc Ó Cathasaigh (GP) and David Cullinane (SF) and Cllr Jody Power (GP) were among the other elected representatives in attendance, along with members of voluntary organisations.  


According to Centre Manager Sharon Higgins: “It’s been a tough 16 months for us all and it’s great to see volunteers across the country get back to doing what they love. From sports clubs to community clean ups, National Volunteering Week (May 16-22) was dedicated to all those people who take the time to give back and make our communities a better place. So many people had to put their volunteering on hold during the pandemic and as the country continues to reopen, we want to celebrate volunteers for all that they do.” 


A delighted Minister O’Brien, who attended a range of functions in Waterford that day, stated: “My department’s funding to volunteer centres is designed to strengthen and foster volunteering in Ireland. Volunteering makes a huge contribution to our quality of life, and to the vibrancy of our communities. There are now more people volunteering than ever before, people who make a real difference in so many ways in our communities. It is heartening to see the warm welcome that is being shown to arrivals to this community from Ukraine. I ask that we all continue to extend this warm welcome.” 


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Attending the official opening were Gavin Foley (Community Gardens) and Deputy David Cullinane (SF).  

Noreen McGrath (Inner City Residents Association) and May Doyle (BOM, Waterford Volunteer Centre).  

From left: Cllr Jody Power (GP), Minister of State Joe OBrien (GP), Sharon Higgins (Manager, Waterford Volunteer Centre), Deputy Marc Ó Cathasaigh (GP) and Caitríona Ní Mhaidín, (Waterford Volunteer Centre).  

Tina Reilly and Rona Toft (Tipperary VC).  

Pictured at the official opening of Waterford Volunteer Centre were Sharon Higgins (Centre Manager) and Volunteer Centre colleagues Paul Deegan and Caitriona Ni Mhaidín.   

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