171 Inclusive Volunteers Took Part
To support volunteers in sport and physical activity, and to acknowledge the work they do to increase the provision of opportunities for people with disabilities, Cara successfully delivered an Inclusive Volunteer Programme in July & August 2021. The programme was developed in partnership with Volunteer Ireland, The Federation of Irish Sport and Sport Ireland.
Cara set out to offer 100 free places to those who were interested in becoming an inclusive volunteer or up-skilling for existing volunteers in the area of inclusion. Due to the significant interest and from people who applied, Cara decided to offer a further 71 places.
The programme aims to empower new and existing volunteers to provide positive opportunities for people with disabilities in sport and physical activity.
We welcomed applications from people with disabilities who are interested in volunteering and would like to up-skill in the area of sport and physical activity inclusion in their community.
In association with:
The Inclusive Volunteer Programme was launched online by a specially recorded video by Padraig, the 11 year old social media star and podcaster. Padraig has fronted many campaigns for Down Syndrome Ireland and Special olympics. He loves promoting the message of inclusion, diversity and ability and is a huge believer that disability should not mean inability. Cara was delighted to have Padraig as an ambassador for this programme.
Why The Programme Was Developed
- To empower new and existing volunteers to provide positive opportunities for people with disabilities in sport & physical activity at club and community level.
- To recognise the impact that volunteers have on people with disabilities in sport in Ireland
- To highlight the stories of people with disabilities who volunteer within sport in Ireland.
- To provide relevant information & specific training for the participants involved in the programme.
- To provide an insight into the current and future direction of volunteering in sport in Ireland.
What The Programme Provides
- Disability specific and sector specific information to upskill and empower the volunteers involved in the programme to support people with disabilities in their sport at club and community levels.
- An insight into the direct impact of volunteering on people with disabilities through video’s capturing their voices and stories, as part of the ‘I’m In Too’ movement.
- A resource pack for participants with appropriate support resources and information.
- Two disability specific training workshops for participants delivered online (‘Autism In Sport’ and ‘Sport Inclusion & Disability Awareness’).
- A live webinar examining the current culture and impact of volunteering in sport in Ireland and the future direction of volunteering.
- A programme certificate to recognise the achievement of participants completing the programme.
Who Could Apply
- Applicants must be 16 years of age on the first day of a Cara workshop that they are attending. If an applicant is under 18, a parent or guardians authorisation was required.
- A club may apply on behalf of their existing volunteer(s). To maximise the reach of this programme, we asked that only one volunteer per club be submitted. Additional club applicants were put on a waiting list. If there were spaces available, Cara would then contact applicants from this list.
- We welcomed applications from people with disabilities who are interested in volunteering and would like to up-skill in the area of sport and physical activity inclusion in their community.
Participants received a comprehensive welcome pack with branded clothing and resources as part of the programme. They also received training in Autism in Sport and Sport Inclusion & Disability Awareness to increase their level of knowledge in the area of inclusion.
To help promote the programme and to encourgae people to become inclusive volunteers, Cara interviewed existing volunteers to hear their stories and to learn why they became volunteers and the benefits it brings to people with disabilities. They shared their sense of fulfilment, enjoyment and encouragement they get from volunteering.
The video interview with Tomás Griffin, Volunteer Coach to Paralympic Athlete, Jordan Lee, tells the story of how their relationship has grown and is an example of how starting out as a volunteer at local level can lead to great things. Amelia Tucker and Jane O’Donoghue who volunteer at Football for All in Killarney Celtic Club in their interview eplained how they started volunteering as parents of children with disabilities and continue to do so almost ten years later.
Volunteer Live Webinar
Presented by Rob Hartnett, Sport For Business
The programme concluded with a successful Live Webinar hosted by Rob Hartnett, Sport for Business, entitled ‘Inclusive Volunteers – at the heart of our Nation’. This live webinar, celebrated the impact of volunteers throughout ireland within Sport & Inclusive Physical Activity on people with disabilities while also investigating the challenges and future direction of volunteering with an expert panel of guests.
Guests included an expert panel of Mary O’Connor, CEO Federation of Irish Sport; Karen Coventry, Director of Sport Special Olympics Ireland; Stuart Gartland, Training & Programmes Manager Volunteer Ireland and Pauline Nugent Ormond, Special Olympics Club Volunteer. It also included messages from John Treacy, CEO of Sport Ireland and Minister Jack Chambers, Minister of State for Sport.