Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (20)

Tony McLoughlin

Question:

20. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans for the development of a national volunteering strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30084/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

The development of a National Volunteering Strategy is a key priority for my Department.

A Call for Input (CFI) paper was launched in December 2018, as a first step in the development of this strategy. The CFI was circulated to a wide range of stakeholders and was also posted on my Department's website www.drcd.gov.ie. This paper was designed to inform stakeholders about the proposed development of the strategy, to seek their views on what constitutes volunteering and what the strategy should contain.

Among the areas that stakeholders were asked to provide their views on were:

- a definition of volunteering;

- a shared vision for the future of Irish volunteering;

- the objectives of a draft volunteering strategy;

- the volunteering community;

- governance and funding issues;

- various challenges and opportunities that exist within volunteering today; and

- monitoring, measuring and evaluating the impact of volunteering in society.

The response to the CFI was presented to the a National Advisory Group on Volunteering at its inaugural meeting, on 29th May 2019. The Group, which will advise on and oversee the development of the strategy, is made up of a range of stakeholders representing Government and the community and voluntary sector. It is chaired by Minister of State, Seán Canney.

It is anticipated that the draft strategy will be completed later this year, following which there will be a further opportunity for the public to provide input before the strategy is finally presented to Government for approval.