Navan Arch Club members on group holiday in Bundornan 2023.

Navan Arch Club in urgent need of volunteer workers

Hannah McNamara

A NAVAN social and sports club for people with intellectual disabilities is seeking volunteers to help with their social evenings.

A severe shortage of voluntary workers to help out Navan Arch Club, a community club that caters for adults with disabilities, has meant that for the first time in the club’s history a waiting list has been set up.

Chairperson Karen Kinahan said: "We've had such an influx of members since after Covid-19, which has been great. We are always encouraging people to join our club. However, also since the pandemic we've had some volunteers unable to come back to the club.

"At the moment, we have roughly 20 regular volunteers. Having to follow our National Governing Bodies' ratio of volunteers to club members can be quite challenging. On our club nights we have one volunteer to eight members, and on the sports end of things we need one volunteer to four athletes. Meeting these ratios can be quite demanding, as our volunteers can't attend every club event due to other obligations.

Navan Arch Club currently caters for 120 people with intellectual disabilities, with about 20 people on the waiting list.

Karen said: "Our club has been functioning for over 30 years and for the first time ever we've had to set up a waiting list, all because we don't have enough volunteers. The waiting list was set up around September last, the start of the 2023/24 year of the club."

She added: "We work with about 60-70 members a week, with a social club on Thursdays at 7.30pm in Scoil Mhuire, and sports on Sundays at 12.30pm in Claremont Stadium. We also have a show every two years where our members get to act, dance and perform.

"We take part in a wide variety of social events such as discos, cinema, quizzes and bingo. We then have our sports section where we are affiliated to Special Olympics and take part in basketball, floorball, table tennis, bocce, swimming and bowling.

"We need more volunteers to help out at these events, and to get those on the waiting list into the club and involved. The more help we get the better."

If you'd like to help you can contact Navan Arch Club on their Facebook page or contact Karen on 086 322 2256.