The Louth Volunteer Centre team were excited to launch their ‘New Connection’ mental health project on 17th May as part of their National Volunteering Week celebrations.
The aim of this project is to break down the barriers to volunteering for people in priority groups most at risk of poor mental health.
The project will run until December 5th where its closing celebrations will be held in conjunction with International Volunteer Day.
Kayleigh Mulligan manager of Louth Volunteer Centre said
“We are delighted to have received this funding from Mental Health Ireland to support our work in ensuring that volunteering is accessible to all in County Louth.
“Volunteering has so many benefits to a person’s mental and physical wellbeing, it gives a real sense of connection to yourself and your local community.
“ The New Connections programme will give us the opportunity to work with individuals that are in priority groupings for risk of low mental health on a very supportive and individual level to help them to find a new way to connect to their communities through volunteering.”
It has been the experience of the Louth Volunteer Centre that certain cohorts of potential volunteers can find it difficult to secure volunteer roles.
Louth Volunteer Centre has chosen three groups to work with, that they feel will really benefit from what ‘New Connections’ has to offer.
They are adults with intellectual disabilities, people recovering from addiction and young men who have been through Garda diversion programs.
Olivia Conlon, Volunteer Development Officer with Louth Volunteer Centre said “equality is important, but equity is more important.
“We need to level the playing field and give people the support they need to access the same opportunities as everyone else.”
As well as working with the individuals from these cohorts Louth Volunteer Centre is also looking for local volunteer involving organisations to get involved in the project.
“We are asking organisations that involve volunteers in their work to sign up to this project by nominating an inclusion officer that will be trained and supported to involve volunteers of all abilities and be upskilled in the area of mental health awareness” says Kaleigh Mulligan.
Eve McCrystal Paralympic medallist and local Garda who joined Louth Volunteer Centre for the launch of the project said:
“I am excited to get involved with this project. We all have mental health, and we all need to look after it”.
For more information about the ‘New Connections’ project can contact Olivia Conlon from Louth Volunteer Centre, Olivia@volunteerlouth.ie
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