Eco-Centre: help and work towards sustainability

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Coordinator | Mallory
Coordinator | Mallory
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Immersion in an a dynamic Eco-Centre project in rural Ireland
Living within a group of international volunteers
Highly experienced staff members
Diversity of activities and learning opportunities
Visit the wild west of Ireland with its natural wonders during your free time
Support a non-profit Eco-Centre within a team of international volunteers and immerse yourself in the magical West of Ireland. A unique way to experience Ireland! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

CTL collaborates with two Eco-Centre located in the West of Ireland


The Eco-Centre is a non-profit organisation and registered charity focusing on ecology and sustainability. It located in a rural area surrounded by green hills and near a large lake in a beautiful region in the North West of the country. The aim of the centre is to provide training and education, information and demonstration of organic gardening, growing and sustainable living. The centre provides courses on various topics such as gardening, food production, healthy cooking and renewable energy. The centre also welcomes educational tours for schools, community groups, and garden clubs.The centre includes:

-        kitchen gardens and polytunnels of various sizes with vegetables and flowers

-        A compost display area, showing different methods of composting and recycling.

-        An orchard with 50 varieties of apples suited to the Irish climate and a soft fruit area, testing hardy varieties.

-        A native woodland 

-        A play area for children of visiting families

-        A café and an Eco-shop selling organic seeds, tools, books, herb plants, seasonal vegetables and a range of organic food

The volunteer work

There are around 3 to 7 volunteers at the project who support a team of nearly 20 staff members (not all full-time).  Volunteer work hours can be expected to average out at approximately 5 to 7 hours per day, 5 days a week. Volunteers get two days off per week, not necessarily the weekends.  

During the first week, volunteers will be introduced to the different aspects of the project and the different types of volunteer work available. Where possible the work will then be matched to individual preferences, skills and abilities, however everyone will be expected to be flexible and adapt to the project’s needs.

Example of tasks:

- Gardening/vegetable growing

- Maintenance work

- Help in the shop and café

- Administration assistance

- Assist with organisation of educational activities

Volunteers should be prepared to carry out tasks that might be repetitive, tedious and monotonous.

Placements will normally be of a minimum of 8 weeks and a maximum of 20 weeks

Accommodation and meals

Volunteers are living in small houses located within 2-10km from the project. Houses have 2 to 4 bedrooms, kitchen, shared bathroom and living room. Bed linen are provided, volunteers should bring their own towels. Wi-fi is accessible at the project but not in the accommodation. Generally volunteers access the internet through the mobile network with their mobile phone. The accommodation will be shared with other volunteers or with students attending the long-term courses from the Centre.  Volunteers might have their own bedrooms, but should be prepared to share their bedroom with another volunteer if required. Volunteers generally cycle to the project or get lifts (by car) to and from the projects from either staff member or students that have a car. Participants make their own food shopping. They receive a small stipend that covers modest spending and also the cost the electricity (light and heating). Volunteers cook their own food at the accommodation, they sometimes eat the food served in the project (café). Please note that the Organic Centre is located very close to the boarder with Northen Ireland (2.5km) and some of the accomodation for volunteers are located the other side of the border, in Northen Ireland.


This centre is a non-profit organisation focusing on ecology and sustainability. It is a residential venue for events such as workshops, courses, conferences and for individual/group retreats and holidays. The centre includes 2 halls for workshop, accommodation (small dormitories, vegetarian kitchen and dinging area, large and cosy living room), an organic vegetable and fruit gardens, a nature trail, a wildlife pond, two rush labyrinths, a chicken coop, an orchard and recently planted native woodland areas.  It is located in 50 acres of land 

The centre’s mantra is reduce, reuse, recycle and its ethos is based on creating an environmentally sustainable activity having a minimal impact on the earth.

Guests are varied and include:

Visiting tutors with groups of workshop participants

Visiting individuals both hostellers and Bed and Breakfast guests

Individuals attending the centre's own organised events, tours, retreats and workshops including traditional Irish music

Community groups, school groups and local community workshops/events

Workshop activities are wide ranging usually linked to music and healing and include yoga, meditation, dancing, Tai Chi, djembi drumming, music workshops, singing, sweat lodges, retreats, parties, weddings, concerts, training sessions, meetings, conferences etc. 

The Centre endeavours to create a community atmosphere and encourages and relies on volunteer throughout the year.  At any one time there may be up to 11 volunteers. Volunteers are expected to work together as a team. 

Volunteer work hours can be expected to average out at approximately 25 hours per week. This will often incorporate weekend work. Where possible the work will be matched to individual skills and abilities, however everyone will be expected to be flexible depending on the weather and the work required. At quiet times there is the opportunity to take days off for touring. Flexibility and negotiation on both sides is encouraged.

Work will be outdoors in the Centre grounds or kitchen garden and indoor jobs linked to catering for guests. There are more opportunities to do outside work in the spring and summer month with a strong emphasis on gardening in March, April and May.

Outside work may involve:

Gardening  - both heavy digging and light weeding 

Planting – trees and vegetables 


Land clearing 

Ditch digging and clearing


Tending to chickens 

Path laying

Stacking and preparing wood for the boiler

Building natural structures

Tidying and general ground maintenance

Inside work may involve:

Cooking (vegetable preparation)

Dish washing





Accommodation and meals

Volunteers will be provided with a hostel bed and bedding. Usually you will be expected to share your room with other volunteers. Sometimes during off peak seasons volunteers will be able to have their privacy, however this may involve switching rooms every so often.

The centre operates a vegetarian kitchen providing meals whenever there are paying guests staying – usually at weekends and full weeks over the summer months. When the kitchen is catering for guests you will be expected to help with some vegetable preparation and washing up depending on your skills and interests and meals will be made for you. At other times volunteer are expected to cater for themselves either on a work-share or help themselves basis using whatever ingredients are available in the kitchen and garden. Cooking and eating together is encouraged whenever possible. So volunteers should bring some recipes!

Typical day

Subject to change:

8.30 Breakfast

9.30 Volunteer work starts (hours are flexible)

13.00 Lunch break

14.00 Volunteer work continues

16.30 Volunteer ends

Free time with other international volunteers (walks, games, chat, reading etc.)


Free-time activities

Volunteers have two days off per week (not necessarily on weekends). During their free time, volunteers can discover the Wild West of Ireland, the Wild Atlantic Way.
Volunteers may also have the opportunity to attend some courses run at the center (this is subject to availability).
Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
Required Documents
CV, motivation letter, medical certificate and participants need a valid passport (that will stay valid for the duration of their stay) criminal background check
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers are required to be adaptable, flexible people. The must be over 18 when the project starts. They will join a group of volunteers comprised of people from different backgrounds, countries and cultures. They need to be able to partake in teamwork, maturity and responsibility are very important. Volunteers should enjoy physical outdoor work and rural living, and be prepared for challenging weather conditions. Volunteers must have at least an intermediate level of spoken English.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 09:30 - 16:30

What's Included

Services by CTL Ireland

Cost Includes:

  • Pick up on arrival
  • 1st night in hostel shared accommodation in Cork city
  • Orientation day with CTL Ireland staff
  • Transfer to project
  • Accommodation at project
  • Food (in first Eco Centre: small stipend from project to cover cost of simple food and energy)
  • Ongoing support from project mentor
  • Assistance and back up support from CTL Ireland staff
  • 24/7 emergency support
Return transfer not included.

Airport Pickup at Cork Airport
Pick up is included for participants arriving in Cork airport. Participants arriving in another airport will be provided with all necessary information and will be picked up on arrival in Cork city.

The accommodation depends on which Eco Centre the volunteer will be placed. In the first Eco-Centre, volunteers live in a shared house located a few km form the centre. In the second Eco Centre, volunteers live on site. See above for more details.

Bedroom (Double) Bedroom (Single) Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

In the first Eco-Centre participants make their own food shopping and cook for themselves (cost of basic food is covered by project), in the second Eco Centre, food is bought by the project and there is a communal kitchen for staff and volunteers. See above for more details

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Cork Airport (ORK) in Cork. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ireland.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Ireland provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Ireland you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ireland.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

2023 Start dates

January 9th

February 13th

March 6th

April 3rd  

May 8th  

May 29th

June 12th

July 3rd    

July 17th

July 31st

September 4th

October 2nd

November 6th

Arrival in Cork airport:

Participants are picked up by a driver who will be waiting with a sign displaying the participants’ name. Participants are transferred to a hostel, located in Cork city centre.

Arrival at different airport

Volunteers who arrived at a different airport (Dublin, Shannon, Kerry, Waterford) need to make their own way to Cork. It is very easy to join Cork city from Dublin airport as there are buses from just outside the arrival terminal in Dublin that go directly to Cork city centre. Detailed information on transfers to Cork will be provided by CTL Ireland.

First day and Overnight in Cork city 

Volunteers stay at a pre-booked hostel for their first night in Cork city. The hostel is located in the city centre, a very short walk from all the shops and attractions of the city. After checking in, participants have some free time to rest and to discover Cork city. A welcome dinner is generally organised on the first night.

Second Day: Orientation

On the morning of their second day, participants will take part in a comprehensive orientation workshop which lasts 3 to 4 hours followed by a walking tour. 

Third day: Transfer to Host Community

Participants are transferred to their project by public transportation (bus or train)

Please note: The information on arrival and orientation is subject to change as we might modify the programme to follow public health guidelines.

This program is paused due to COVID-19 and reopens April 2023. Apply Now!

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
6 - 20 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
6 weeks (min. stay)
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks
13 weeks
14 weeks
15 weeks
16 weeks
17 weeks
18 weeks
19 weeks
20 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$253 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. CTL Ireland will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with CTL Ireland during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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High ethical standards & transparent social impact
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Change your reservation at no extra costs
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We refund your fees if CTL Ireland cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by CTL Ireland.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Eco-Centre: help and work towards sustainability

Support a non-profit Eco-Centre within a team of international volunteers and immerse yourself in the magical West of Ireland. A unique way to experience Ireland!


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