Free (or Cheap) Volunteer Work in Ireland
Grassroots Volunteering in Ireland
The organisations listed below have either got in touch with us to add their details to this or another of our websites, or we otherwise have reason to believe they are actively looking for international volunteers and charge reasonable or no fees to join in, live and work with them:
Imagine if children living with serious illness had the chance to simply be children, thought Paul Newman – yep, that Paul Newman – to just have fun. So he started a camp where kids could, in his words,“raise a little hell.” Barretstown offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness, supported behind the scenes by 24 hour on site medical and nursing care.
Cara is the Irish word for ‘friend’ and as a cara your role at camp is to look after the daily needs of the campers, to accompany them in their activities and provide them with a fun, safe and supportive environment. The commitment as a volunteer cara at camp ranges from three to nine days. They also have a need for volunteer doctors and nurses, and volunteers from Russia, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Sweden, Denmark, UK, Ireland, and the USA are sought to act as chaperones and interpreters.
Where: Country Kildare.
Accommodation & Costs: Food, accommodation and transportation to and from the airport are provided.
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Camphill Communities of Ireland
Camphill is part of an international charitable trust working with people with intellectual disabilities and other kinds of special needs. In the Republic of Ireland, 18 communities are home to around 500 people, who share their home, spiritual and working lives with support volunteers, coming locally or from abroad, for periods between three months and two years.
Where: Across Ireland.
Accommodation & Costs: Volunteers have their own room, meals as a member of the household and are provided with the basic necessities for living.
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Event Volunteers was setup to respond to calls for large groups of people to volunteer at community events such as concerts, environmental, sporting, and community events. Much of the volunteering will be outdoors and include some physical activity. Roles may include community clean ups, tree planting, stewarding, and providing information to the general public.
Where: Various locations.
Accommodation & Costs: Overseas volunteers fund and find their own accommodation. Refreshments and food are provided.
Festival Volunteering in Ireland
Typically the rewards of volunteering at a festival are a free ticket and a better camping pitch.
Volunteers at this music and arts festival held each September in County Laois play a vital role assisting in the car parks and campsites, being an information steward, working on wristband check points and being the ‘eyes and ears’ of the festival. Access to a staff campsite and time to enjoy the festival when you’re not on shift are the perks here, though you must be willing to pay a refundable bond of €250, refunded a fortnight or so after the event if shifts are completed satisfactorily.
Hostel Work Exchanges
Of the half dozen or so hotels we had marked as volunteering possibilities on a list we put together a few years ago, only the Kilronan Hostel, in the Aran Islands, and Rougey Lodge in Ireland’s surf capital, Bundoran, seem to still be going. Rougey Lodge is said to provide equipment and lessons along with the usual work for your keep perks.
Other Opportunities to Volunteer in Ireland
What’s not to like about helping to raise funds to provide children in Africa with clean water, daily meals and health education, and enjoying a music festival at the same time? Charity Concierge had the clever idea where in return for a donation that goes to an African children’s charity they fetch rounds of drinks for festival goers, including at the above mentioned Electric Picnic. Along with queuing for drinks, volunteers also pitch tents and deliver breakfast.
Volunteers’ time, expertise, enthusiasm and knowledge are central to the Irish Wildlife Trust’s conservation efforts. Anything from filing to helping at events is needed.
Help Exchange Networks in Ireland
More Volunteering in Ireland Resources
Volunteer Ireland – The national volunteer development agency and a support body for all of the couple of dozen local Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services that put volunteers in touch with local community organisations and NGOs.
South Dublin County Volunteer Centre – Offers a recruitment and placement service for volunteers in South Dublin County.
The Wheel – A small number of volunteering positions are listed here and while most of those were of the treasurer or board member variety when we looked a few would be of interest to readers here.
Other Ways to Travel or Stay for Free in Ireland
Stay for free in return for caring for local residents’ homes or pets. Join Trusted Housesitters to live rent free as a house sitter (Americans may prefer this link).You can also get a free Airbnb credit from us here.
WWOOF Ireland on Cape Clear Goat Farm – A video offering a glimpse into the lives of WWOOFers at Ed’s Goat Farm.
* not all these volunteer experiences are with grassroots NGOs or low cost organisations
Image courtesy kDamo