The Government continues to advance a range of measures that support volunteering and active citizenship, and my Department funds a network of twenty one Volunteer Centres, including Carlow Volunteer Centre. The centres act as ‘brokers’ between potential volunteers and organisations seeking volunteers. The centres are linked by a common database and a common best practice approach. They also work with organisations to develop their volunteer management capacity and facilitate Garda vetting for smaller organisations.
While there are encouraging signs of improvement in the economic outlook, difficult decisions continue to be necessary and allocations in most expenditure programmes remain constrained for 2014 . My primary concern has been to make every effort to ensure that the daily front-line services, including volunteer centres, provided with funding from my Department, are protected to the greatest extent possible. In this regard, I am currently considering options to minimise reduction in the volunteering support budget to all volunteer centres.