LIMERICK is the first county set to acknowledge the work of volunteers through a discount card, launched by the Limerick Volunteer Centre and Limerick City and County Council.
The Limerick Privilege Card, will offer discounts in stores across the city and county, following the unanimous decision by Limerick City and County councillors to back the idea.
Over 70 businesses have already supported the idea, with Mayor Liam Galvin hoping to expand the card to businesses across the county.
“Our focus is particularly on towns like Abbeyfeale, Kilmallock, Rathkeale and Newcastle West,” said Mayor Galvin.
“I think it’s an opportunity for the businesses to come forward. When people see businesses are supporting volunteers, they will be more inclined to go in and support those shops. Whether it’s a small shop or a large shop. It will be a win win situation.”
The Limerick Privilege Card, is the brainchild of the Limerick Volunteer Centre and is also backed by the Limerick Leader and Limerick’s Live 95fm.
The Limerick Volunteer Centre hopes that all of the 400-plus voluntary organisations registered with the centre will sign up.
Card holders will get a booklet of participating businesses when they sign up and an online directory of participating businesses will also be available.
Although it is up to businesses to decide on the discounts they apply, some have proposed a 10% discount to acknowledge volunteers.
Limerick and Tipperary Samaritans group, based in Barrington street, have almost 150 volunteers.
John Downey, director at Samaritans, said their volunteers will benefit hugely from the Privilege Card.
“People weren’t expecting anything. They’re happy to just come in and volunteer, they’re not looking for any material gain whatsoever.
“It’s the fact that they’re being recognised as volunteers, and recognised by the greater society, that what they do is worthwhile. It means a lot for people to have somebody to say thanks, that is what the privilege card is doing.”
Limerick City and County Council chief executive officer Conn Murray, welcomed the discount card, saying Limerick’s local authority aims to be ambitious, when it sets a target.
Voluntary organisations and businesses can register for the Limerick Privilege card by going online to www.volunteerlimerick.ie or by ringing 087-7387481.