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Ireland is the most generous country in Europe, says World Giving Index

Ireland has scored a hat-trick after being ranked the most generous in Europe three years in row.

THE WORLD GIVING Index 2013 has ranked Ireland as the most generous country in Europe and fifth most generous country in the world.

Volunteer Ireland welcomed the research which found that there was an increase in the number of people volunteering  in Ireland, up three percentage points to 37 per cent in this years survey.

Increase in volunteering

The biggest increase in volunteering in Ireland this year was found to be among the over 50s, where numbers increased from 31 per cent to 40 per cent.

The World Giving Index is based on surveys in 135 countries over the past year and looks at three measures of giving: the percentage of people who give money to charity, volunteer their time or help a stranger in a typical month.

Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Volunteer Ireland said they were delighted that for the third year running, Ireland has been ranked the most generous country in Europe in the World Giving Index, stating that the 3 per cent rise in people volunteering was particularly positive to see.

Culture

“The research highlights the remarkable generosity of spirit that continues to thrive in Ireland throughout difficult times. Connecting with people is something that is inherent to our culture in Ireland and this is reflected in the statistics,” she said.

Ms. McKenna said 2013 has been a milestone year for volunteering in Ireland with the incredible voluntary effort undertaken in celebration of The Gathering and the tenth anniversary of Ireland’s hosting of the Special Olympics World Games.

She said:

These remain difficult times and we are still in the midst of a social and economic crisis, yet the growth of interest in volunteering is a positive side of the country’s downturn.

Last year over 15,400 volunteers registered through volunteer.ie and local Volunteer Centres, a record figure and a 100 per cent increase on pre-recession levels . These volunteers clocked up an incredible 465,000 voluntary hours last year at a purely economic value of over €10.2 million to the Irish economy.

Read: Costello launches initiative to encourage retired public servants to volunteer>

Read: Overseas volunteers worth €10 million and almost 500 jobs to Irish economy — report>

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