Getting involved in your local community is one of the best ways to meet new people and get to know about Irish life and society. There are many opportunities to become involved in Irish sporting, creative and community life.
·Local Sports Activities and Clubs
Becoming involved in sport can be a great way of meeting people while staying fit and active. To learn about the different sports played in your locality, you can contact a Local Sports Partnership. There are Local Sports Partnerships located in each city and county council area in Ireland, which aim to increase participation in sporting activities at a local level. To find your local Partnership, visit: http://www.sportireland.ie/Participation/Local_Sports_Partnerships/LSP_Contact_Finder/
Volunteering and Community Activities
Volunteering Ireland is the national volunteering development agency which promotes volunteering in local communities. The Volunteering Ireland website has information for people interesting in volunteering in English, Chinese, Czech, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Igbo, Yoruba, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Portuguese and Arabic. Additionally, your local Citizen's Information Centre may be able to point you in the direction of local organisations looking for volunteers.
Many intercultural activities take place throughout the year which celebrate the diversity which increased immigration has brought to all aspects of Irish life and society. To find out about these activities and how you can become involved in them, go to the integration events section of this web page.
A number of ethnic-led support groups have been set up throughout the country. The New Communities Partnership (NCP) is a national network of over 70 such organisations. The mission of NCP is to be an effective network, representing and empowering minority ethnic-led groups, at all levels, in order to influence positive change in policies that impact on their lives. To find out more about minority ethnic-led groups in your area or the work of different organisations, visit https://www.newcommunities.ie/ .
- Youth Activities
There are many creative, sporting and civic activities which young people can become involved in their local community. To find out more, visit a local Youth Information Centre by finding one at http://www.youthworkireland.ie/what-we-do/youth-information . The National Youth Council of Ireland is the representative body for national voluntary youth organisations, which acts on issues which impact on young people. The website has links to member organisations. To find out about just some of the bodies with which you can become involved with http://www.youth.ie/members .
- Faith Communities
Faith-based groups have been very responsive to the arrival of migrants to Ireland in terms of providing support, assistance and information, and have provided spiritual and other supports to some of the most vulnerable members of society. The contribution of immigrants has re-invigorated many faith-based communities. Groups that bring different faiths together are a good starting point for migrants who wish to learn more about how faith communities are working together to increase mutual understanding. The Dublin City Interfaith Forum and the Three Faiths Forum Cork are two examples of these and their websites contain much useful information for members of many faiths.