Frequently Asked Questions


What if I've never taken part in volunteering before?
 
It is always daunting to try something new but the fact that you are thinking about it, is the very first step to volunteering! 

Remember there are very many students on campus who volunteered for the first time this year so you are not alone. The best advice we can offer you is to take the following steps:

Where do I find a volunteer opportunity?

Simply go to the community section of this website and view volunteer opportunities. Alternatively you can take up your own volunteering opportunity that is not listed.
 


What age do I have to be?
 
Generally you do not have to be any age to volunteer. However there are some organisations who can only work with adults over 18 years of age. The organisation will quickly inform you of their needs in terms of age requirements.
 

Do I have to do an interview with community organisations?

This depends on the community organisation. Some do and some donít.

For the most part, organisations that have an interview process do so for good reason, e.g. they have a requriement for specific skills and/or knowledge and/or experience. Or they may need to meet the volunteer to see if they best fit the culture of the organisations or if the volunteer best fits with the volunteer opportunity.
 
Our advice is, if you have to do an interview embrace the opportunity and use it as learning tool for future interviews. Therefore we stongly advise preparing as you would for a paid opportunity. 
 
Here are a couple of tips to help you on on your way:
  • Review the website of the organisation to familiarise yourself with the work of the organisation.
  • Review the volunteer opportunity and then review your skill set so that they match the opportunity.
  • The best tip of all, call into the Career Service on campus to discuss the interview process.

Do I need to be trained to be a volunteer?


Essentially when you offer to help somebody, you are volunteering. Therefore if that offer of help is taken up, the organisations taking it up will provide you with the necessary training so that your contribution will benefit the work of the organisation. 

 

If you look at the agreement between the partner organisation and university you will see the partner organisation has agreed to provide you with the necessary training. 


What about Garda clearance?

Some organisations are required under legislation to ensure volunteers have Garda clearance. As you are probably aware, Garda clearance is designed to protect vulnerable members of our communties.

Because Garda clearance is a legislative requirement from some organisations, when you apply for a volunteering opportunity it is the responsibility of the organisation to inform and direct you through the Garda clearance process.
 

What happens if I can no longer commit my time to the organisation?
 
Firstly, a good rule of thumb prior to taking up a paid or volunteer position is to check out the requirements of the post/role so that your decision to take up the opportunity is made on the basis of this information.

However there will always be of reasons why things do not go according to plan. If you have a good relationship with the person signing off your PVA then speak to them about the issue. If you do not feel comfortable doing this then please get in touch with us.

We would strongly advise students to leave an organisation on good terms.  The reason is that you might need a reference from them in the future.   In addition your fellow students will want to volunteer with this organisation in the future ,so if you plan on leaving your volunteering placement, please inform the organisation or if that is not possible, inform us and we will do it for you. 
 
 

Are there overseas volunteer opportunities?

 

Please check out our international volunteering section for further information on how to go about volunteering overseas.
 

How do I apply for the PVA?

Go to the Applying for the PVA section, download the documentation and follow the steps.
 

Once I have applied when will I receive my award?

The President of the University of Limerick will personally award each PVA recipient.  The exact date of the award ceremony is to be confirmed.