First Scottish volunteering festival kicks off

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The Stirling Festival of Volunteering will see 10 events take place over six days

19th September 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scotland’s first ever festival of volunteering begins later this week.

Taking place from Thursday until next Tuesday (21-26 September), the Stirling Festival of Volunteering aims to boost the number of local people donating their time to good causes.

The festival aims to see over half of the community enjoying active volunteering within three years and for Stirling to become Scotland’s first volunteering city.

Rob Rae of Volunteer Scotland said: “The people of Stirling already do a massive amount of voluntary work, with over a third currently volunteering. But we know far more people want to volunteer and the festival will highlight the many ways to get involved.

“We want to show how flexible volunteering can be, there really is something for everyone. The festival is being piloted in Stirling, but we intend to roll it out across the country and encourage even more Scots to volunteer.”

Organised by Volunteer Scotland in conjunction with eight local partners, the festival will see 10 events taking place across the city in six days.

The line-up includes an awards ceremony where Stirling’s volunteer of the year will be crowned, community crowd-funding event Stirling Soup, a networking event for volunteers, a conference for volunteer managers and a volunteer story exhibition at Historic Environment Scotland’s Engine Shed.

Family highlights include a cycle treasure hunt led by Recyke-a-bike and a volunteering family fun day at King’s Park on Saturday 23 September with music, arts and crafts, storytelling sessions, water walkers, bike track and bouncy castle. The park will also be filled with over 20 stalls run by groups and charities looking for volunteers.

A funding pot of £2,000 was divided out amongst 10 local groups with an idea to improve their community. One of the successful projects included setting up a weekly memory café for people living with dementia and their families (Wednesdays 2 to 4pm).

The café will be officially launched at Dunblane’s Braeport Centre on Wednesday 20 September, a day ahead of World Alzheimer's Day.

Organiser Breda Seaman said: “We want the café to bring together different generations and give young people the chance to support older people living with dementia in the community.”

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