Volunteers create the magic for children and families living with serious illness.

Find your best fit

Find your best fit

We require over 2,100 volunteers each year to help run our programmes. We offer volunteer opportunities as part of our Residential Camps and Outreach programmes. You need to be 19 years or over to volunteer. Volunteers are a huge part of the heart and soul of Barretstown. You play a leading role in providing the magical, transforming experience we give our campers and their families.

Camp Calendar - Spring 2023

Camp Date Details
Spring 1 Jan 20th – 22nd Family Camp
Spring 2 Jan 26th – 29th Bereavement Camp (1)
Spring 3 Feb 3rd – 5th Family Camp
Spring 4 Feb 10th – 12th Family Camp
Charity Partner Feb 12th Charity Partner Day Camp
Spring 5 Feb 17th – 19th Family Camp
Spring 6 Feb 24th – 26th Family Camp
Spring 7 Mar 3rd – 5th Family Camp
YA Camp Mar 3rd – 5th Young Adult Camp
Spring 8 Mar 10th – 12th Family Camp
Spring 9 Mar 17th – 19th Family Camp (Oncology)
Spring 10 Mar 24th – 26th Bereavement Camp (3)
Spring 11 Apr 3rd – 6th Brothers & Sisters Camp
Charity Partner Apr 13th – 16th Charity Partner Camp
Charity Partner Apr 16th Charity Partner Day Camp
Spring 12 Apr 21st – 23rd Family Camp
Charity Partner Apr 23rd Charity Partner Day Camp
Spring 13 Apr 28th – 30th Family Camp
Charity Partner May 6th – 7th Charity Partner Camp
Charity Partner May 12th – 14th Charity Partner Camp
Charity Partner May 19th – 21st Charity Partner Camp

SPRING CAMPS ONLY – Arrival for volunteers is 7pm on Friday for training (unless otherwise stipulated). Departure is 3pm on Sunday (unless otherwise stipulated). If there is any change to arrival & departure times, this will be communicated to you well in advance.

Camp Calendar - Summer 2023

Summer Family Camp June 9th-11th Family Camp
Summer 1 June 16th – 22nd Teen Camp (13-17 years)
Summer 2 June 27th – July 3rd Teen Camp (13-17 years)
Summer 3 July 9th-15th Sibling Camp (7-17 years)
Summer 4 July 21st-27th Children Camp (7-13 years)
Summer 5 Aug 1st-7th Children Camp (7-13 years)
Summer 6 Aug 12th-18th Children/Teen Camp (7-17 years)
Summer Family Camp Aug 24th-27th Family Camp
YA Programme Aug 25th-27th Young Adult Programme

SUMMER CAMPS ONLY – All volunteers (except chaperones) are required to arrive at Barretstown for 9am the day previous to the first day of camp for training. Chaperone arrival day is the same day as camper arrival. International volunteers/ interpreters will be picked up the night before training at 9pm at the airport.


For example, Summer 1 camp (June 16th-22nd), international volunteers/interpreters will be collected from Dublin Airport at 9pm on 14th June. All other volunteers will be required for training on June 15th at 9am, and volunteer chaperones will arrive on June 16th along with the campers they are travelling with.

Residential Camp Volunteer Opportunities

Family & Bereavement Camps run over weekends and the commitment is 3/4 days. Children & Teen camp commitment vary from 4 to 8 days. Volunteering is residential with all meals provided. Volunte ...

Volunteer Cara

Cara is the Irish word for “friend”. As a Cara your role at camp is to look after the daily ...

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Volunteer as part of our Outreach Programmes

Outreach Programmes

These programmes bring the joyful spirit of Barretstown to children and families beyond our gates throughout the year. We run Hospital Outreach Programmes, Camp in Schools and Camp on the move.

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Have some questions or want to have a chat?

Have some questions or want to have a chat?

Got some questions? We would be delighted to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. Just click below to fill in your details or call us on 045 863 100.

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What should I expect?

How we support you

Training is provided for all volunteers. As a new volunteer you will work along trained staff and returning volunteers for guidance. You will always work as part of team with plenty of support. At camp you’re active all day helping our campers get the most out of their experience through encouragement and support in all aspects of camp life while having serious fun.

Quote from a Family

Just wonderful people.The volunteers are such great role model for the kids. My 11 year old daughter said that she wants to volunteer at Barretstown when she is old enough. I think that this is just incredible that not only is she having a wonderful experience she is also meeting people who give up their time to help others and is moved to consider volunteering herself when she's old enough. What a great endorsement of the cara programme

How you make a difference

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Barretstown. Volunteers play a lead role in providing the magical, transforming experience we give our campers and their families.

Quote Volunteer 2020: It’s hard to describe what exactly you do there. You’re given the role of “Cara” (friend in Irish) and basically you’re just that. After the first time I volunteered I knew I was coming back – it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had

Other ways you can get involved

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