National Volunteer Week – Cope Foundation seeks volunteers

Pictured are Mily Farrell, Cope Foundation Volunteer Coordinator, Emma and David, people supported by Cope Foundation and Denis Buckley, Cope Foundation Volunteer. (Picture: Aoife O'Connell)

Cope Foundation is putting out a call for new volunteers to fill roles requiring a wide range of skills. The call comes during National Volunteering Week which is aimed at amplifying the incredible stories of volunteering in communities across the country.

Founded by volunteers 66 years ago, Cope Foundation currently has about 90 volunteers who are involved in a range of activities which include music, drama, art, independent living skills, community outings and gardening. Pre-Covid the number of volunteers was nearly 200 and the organisation is hoping to increase numbers again over the coming months.

The organisation supports 2,800 people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism across a growing network of more than 70 locations in Cork city and county. Cope Foundation looks for volunteers with a variety of skills and from across all age groups.

Many retired people enjoy the routine of a regular weekly role, while younger people want to gain work experience in the sector. Some family members of people supported by Cope Foundation volunteer as they want to give back. 

The most recent addition to Cope Foundation’s volunteer programme is the Best Buddies Society in MTU. Best Buddies is an international organisation whose mission is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for individuals with intellectual disabilities.


Denis Buckley, is a Cope Foundation Volunteer: “The reason I volunteer is because life has been really good to me and my family. I’m retired and I just wanted to give something back. I work in a classroom environment assisting a teacher. I love the interaction with the students and seeing them develop and grow. I’ve been volunteering for the last 6 months and I really enjoy it. I get a lot out of it, and I think the students do too.” 

Some roles may ask for a number of months commitment as continuity can be important depending on the type of role/people that are being supported. The most essential qualities Cope Foundation looks for in all volunteers are a kind and caring personality and training will be provided for someone with the right positive attitude. 

To learn more about becoming a volunteer, contact Milly Farrell, Volunteer Coordinator on: 021-4643294 or email