Are you a volunteer or do you want to get involved in supporting your local community in Scotland? This is your chance to find out how to make a difference to a cause close to your heart.
In Scotland we’re the only national centre for volunteering and receive funded support from the Scottish Government and other organisations to research, demonstrate and measure the impact made by volunteers.
We offer a one stop digital gateway to everyone in Scotland who might want to find volunteer opportunities and support organisations to post and advertise new volunteer opportunities and events through web-based tools. We also support paid staff and volunteers to develop skills through accessing training and easy to use volunteer development tools and policies.
Volunteer Scotland provides an expert disclosure service for voluntary organisations. We help organisations and people who can influence volunteering such as funders, Government, and policy makers. We work with partners to support projects, innovation and creativity in volunteering.
The latest Scottish Household Survey (2015) informs us that in 2014 27% of Scottish adults provided unpaid help to organisations or groups in the last 12 months in Scotland. In 2012 volunteering output contributed 162 million hours of help and £2.6 billion to the Scottish economy.
There isn’t enough detailed research on the impact of volunteering on communities and this is something we hope to address. What we do know is that the voluntary sector (which includes charities as well as other non-profits) delivers more local services than ever before. Take a look across your local health and social care provision and you’ll find voluntary organisations are prominent. That’s just one example. We ran a survey a few years ago and spoke to almost 600 charities, we found that more than half were run entirely by volunteers.
While many of us approach an organisation we know of directly or through someone we know that already volunteers, for others there is help and support available. Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to volunteer. Our website, Volunteer Scotland provides local opportunities across Scotland but we also encourage ‘would be’ volunteers to visit their local Volunteer Centre.
With lots of reasons to volunteer as well as hundreds of different ways to volunteer, I’d say there’s something out there that everyone can support. Volunteering is for everyone, I firmly believe that. It’s a bit of a myth that all volunteers are completely altruistic – a volunteer is not the stereotypical ‘do-gooder’.
What are you waiting for? Get involved today!