A Volunteer’s Perspective, by Siobhan Judge
My name is Siobhán Judge, and I’m a member of the Ballina 2023 Volunteer Programme.
I’m a Bonniconlon native with a Bachelor’s Degree in Event management and Public Relations from GMIT Galway and I have a passion for organising events and working behind the scenes to make them a success.
To date I’ve been working with the Ballina 2023 team to create and manage event plans, and being present on the day or night to ensure all equipment, branding and personnel are in place so that events go smoothly.
So far this year, we have hosted a number of events, including two volunteer training events in Telus International Ireland, the launch of the ‘Face of War’ exhibition in Ballina Arts Centre, our Youth Programme open evening, the Mise en Lumières Audiovisual Installation to launch the Year of the French Festival, and a welcome reception in Ballina Civic Offices for the French Ambassador. Each event involves a certain amount of planning and it has been fun to work on those with the team.
What do I love the most about Ballina 2023? It’s impossible to chose, but the sense of community is definitely up there! Being a part of a team that has such a drive and passion is amazing. Everyone on the team, be they staff or volunteers looks out for each other, and has the same end goal – making Ballina 2023 unforgettable!
Aside from the the team itself, it’s the town and its surrounding areas that really inspire. Ballina 2023 would not be possible without the support of the local community. Each event we’ve held so far has had such a great buzz and bustle, all because of the people of Ballina. So thank you to everyone who has attending our events so far, and get ready for the rest of the year – it’s gonna be a blast!
The variety of events Ballina 2023 is offering means there really is something for everyone. From sports to music, arts to culture, everyone’s tastes are catered for. I would definitely recommend coming along to something, maybe trying something you haven’t tried before – you never know what interests Ballina 2023 could inspire. And of course, there are lots of opportunities to volunteer, from event organisation to marketing, stewarding to social media.
I could talk all day about what I love about Ballina 2023. But I’ll finish up on my last point for today! The tools and training that are offered to volunteers are invaluable.
I actually just attended my first volunteer training event with Stuart Garland from Volunteer Ireland as a participant, and I loved it. It allowed me to meet more of my fellow volunteers that I may not get to see every week, and the presentation itself was excellent – it was definitely the most enjoyable training session I have attended to date! Stuart is just brilliant and his delivery and enthusiasm kept me intrigued throughout! We had some real good laughs and met some great people that I am so excited to work with in the coming months.
If you’d like to consider volunteering yourself, you can email our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Sheila Garvin for a chat. We’d love to hear from you.
Signing off for now,