Sligo Named European Volunteering Capital 2017

Left to Right: Joao Afonso, Deputy Mayor of Lisbon; Independent MEP Marian Harkin; Delores McDonagh, Sligo  County Council; and Ciara Herity, Sligo Volunteer Centre.
Left to Right: Joao Afonso, Deputy Mayor of Lisbon; Independent MEP Marian Harkin; Delores McDonagh, Sligo County Council; and Ciara Herity, Sligo Volunteer Centre.

By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
February / March 2017

In January, Sligo was announced as the European Volunteering Capital for 2017, beating out other European cities like Belfast, London, Edinburgh, Bruges, and Cagliari.

A joint application was submitted from Sligo County Council and Sligo Volunteer Centre, according to volunteersligo.ie. The jury commended Sligo on having “well thought out and properly resourced volunteering strategies” which can have “a transformative effect on local communities.” They also referred to the fact that Sligo Volunteer Centre celebrates its 10 year anniversary this year.

Charlie Flanagan, TD, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, said in a statement, “In Ireland we have a rich history of helping each other out in the spirit of neighborliness and community. As a largely rural people for most of our history, there has always been a great tradition of helping neighbors – to save the hay, to deliver the calves and the lambs, to cut the silage. In Ireland there is even a specific word for a community-based enterprise, and embodiment of the public spirit: meítheal.”

The competition aims to promote volunteering at the local level by giving recognition to municipalities that support and strengthen partnerships with volunteer centers and volunteer-involving organizations, celebrate and promote volunteering and the impact made by volunteers. ♦

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