Volunteer with Fighting Words - Help Children and Young People Tell Their Stories!

All Fighting Words programmes are run by teams of volunteer writing mentors – people just like YOU. We’re always looking for new volunteer writing mentors to help out at our daily weekday workshops with primary and secondary school classes, our evening and weekend programmes and our summer camps. No previous experience is necessary!

We recruit new volunteers during the school year, from September to June. For more information about volunteering at any of our locations, complete TELL ME MORE FORM or ring Sara Bennett in the Fighting Words Dublin office 01 894 4576. Volunteer mentors should be over 18 years, with the exception of our Transition Year placement programme - scroll down for more information.

Má tá suim agat obair dheonach a dhéanamh linn trí Ghaeilge, cliceáil ANSEO.

What kind of people volunteer at Fighting Words?

Everyone! All tutoring at Fighting Words is free and delivered by teams of volunteer writing mentors.  We have over 400 volunteer mentors - people from all walks of life - including third level students (from all disciplines!), retired people, writers (both professional and aspiring), teachers, journalists, visual artists, musicians and filmmakers - just to name a few.  

What kind of skills do I need to volunteer at Fighting Words?

Anyone who enjoys working in a creative environment with the individuals and groups that come to our centres - and is a good listener -  is welcome to volunteer. You don't need to be a writer or a teacher to be a Fighting Words volunteer writing mentor.

What kind of commitment to I have to give?

Volunteering with Fighting Words is totally flexible because your time is a valuable resource. Mentors choose the days and times they come in using our online calendars.  You simply click on the day you'd like to come in and sign up. For example, we have mentors who choose to come in on the same day every week on the same day, tutors who come in for a week or two in the summer and mentors who come in a few times a year for evening workshops. At our other locations, the local co-ordinator will contact you by email about our monthly workshops.

There is no minimum time commitment - and we mean that!

What is involved when I sign up?

Most workshops are divided into two parts: group work and individual writing time. During the first half, you might be asked to hang up coats or provide name badges to the students. In the second half, you will work with 2-3 students as they work on their writing, providing help, advice and encouragement. There is never any emphasis on spelling or grammar.

Some of our mentors are also story illustrators and provide the pictures to accompany the students' stories while more experienced volunteers may become workshop leaders.

Where do Fighting Words workshops take place?

In addition to the Fighting Words centre in Dublin, we have teams located around Ireland! You can indicate your preferred location on the TELL ME MORE form and we will put you in contact with the local coordinator.

Fighting Words currently offers programmes in the following locations:

  • Wicklow
  • Conamara
  • Kildare
  • Wexford
  • Cork
  • Kerry
  • Galway
  • Mayo
  • Donegal
  • Laois
  • Longford
  • Limerick
  • Waterford

...with more on the way in 2021!

Based in NI? Find out more about Fighting Words NI!

  • Belfast
  • Derry
  • Coleraine

How do I sign up or find out more?

Volunteer recruitment takes place from September to June - you must be over 18 years old and have completed secondary school to apply.  The only exception to this are secondary school students who are participating in an approved work experience or community care programme through their school and covered by the school's insurance policy. Please see below for further details.

If you're interested in volunteering, complete the Tell Me More form and a member of the volunteer recruitment team will get back to you with further details.  Please note that training is provided and that Fighting Words operates a comprehensive child protection policy. All prospective volunteers are subject to reference checks and Garda vetting.

Working Towards Your Gaisce Award? 

We are proud to be a Gaisce Challenge Partner! Volunteering with Fighting Words can help you attain your Gaisce Award at Bronze, Silver or Gold level. Click here to find out more. 

Already a volunteer?

Click here to sign up to events.

Transition Year Work Experience

Transition Year 2021-2022 - Applications for Dublin Have Closed

Thank you for your interest - our Dublin TY diary is now full!

Places still available for at Fighting Words Wicklow in 2022

If you are interested in working with children and/or the creative arts, a Transition Year work experience placement is a great learning opportunity and a lot of fun! During work experience week placements, students assist with our primary school workshops, including set up and clean up, from 9.30am to 12.30pm. 

A different class visits us each morning, from primary schools all over the Dublin area.  Students spend the first half of the morning writing a story as a group and the second half of the morning writing individual endings to that story. Work experience students are part of the team of volunteer writing mentors who deliver the workshop each day, supervised by Fighting Words staff.

Placements are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. As placements with us are very popular, students are encouraged to contact us as soon as you know your work experience dates. 

Fighting Words is a Gaisce Challenge Partner! If you are working toward your Bronze Award in Transition Year, you can find out more here.  

Fighting Words accepts 4th year (Transition Year) students for work experience on the following basis:

  • One day per week for a minimum of four weeks at our centres in Dublin and Glencree, Co. Wicklow. Students must be available one day per week for a minimum of four weeks on a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday for a minimum of four weeks. We do not run workshops on Fridays. 
  • Three-day placements at our centres in Dublin and Wicklow, mornings from 9.30am to 12.30pm. 

Important Information About Garda Vetting:

  • If you will be 15 years old at the time of your placement. you are NOT required to be Garda vetted.
  • If you will be 16 years old at the time of your placement, you are LEGALLY REQUIRED to be Garda vetted.
  • Please note that Fighting Words DOES NOT conduct Garda vetting for TY students. You may ONLY apply for a place at Fighting Words if your school provides Garda vetting for students - check with your school for details. DO NOT APPLY UNLESS YOU ARE CERTAIN YOU WILL BE VETTED BY YOUR SCHOOL DURING YOUR PLACEMENT DATES.

Find our application form here - for Wicklow ONLY from January 2022

Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

While we are happy to answer queries from parents, we will only confirm places directly with students

Please contact Sara Bennett, General Manager, with any queries about our TY programme.