Let’s hear it for Scotland’s army of volunteers

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Sarah Latto, volunteer development manager at Shelter, promotes Volunteers Week

​Volunteers Week will see a huge range of events take place in communities all over Scotland

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29th May 2017 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Thousands of charities and voluntary organisations are gearing up to celebrate the vital contribution made by volunteers.

From 1-7 June, Volunteers’ Week will see a huge range of events take place in communities all over Scotland, from small awards ceremonies to large celebratory gatherings.

This year’s campaign theme highlights volunteers and volunteering as the golden thread running through Scotland’s communities.

Volunteers are vital to the strength and vitality of Scottish society, with their work valued at £2.6 billion every year.

Recent research found that Scotland’s young people are particularly engaged, with participation now at 52% - nearly double the adult figure of 27%.

With so many Scots volunteering, there are a huge range of achievements to celebrate.

Whether working to improve the local environment, spending time with people who need help, or providing other kinds of essential services and support, the efforts made by volunteers make an invaluable difference to the lives of people and communities everywhere.

Angela Constance, Scottish Government cabinet secretary for communities, is supporting the campaign.

She said: “Volunteers Week Scotland provides a fantastic opportunity to thank everybody who gives up their time so selflessly to volunteer for good causes right across the country.

“Scotland’s volunteers make a vital contribution to our society, making ours a better and more inclusive country. I would encourage anybody thinking about volunteering to find out more and to get involved."

As well as celebrating the work of existing volunteers, Volunteers’ Week Scotland offers a new opportunity for organisations to promote the benefits that volunteering can bring.

The week can also help highlight how people can access opportunities and overcome any barriers they might be facing.

The Scottish Volunteering Forum, which includes Volunteer Scotland, Voluntary Action Scotland, Shelter Scotland, and Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and Befriending Networks, is encouraging as many organisations as possible to take part.

Sarah Latto, forum member and volunteer development manager with Shelter Scotland, said: "Volunteers’ Week provides a fantastic opportunity to thank the many thousands of volunteers across Scotland. They really are the golden thread in our society, providing sports coaching to our children, befrienders for our older people and much more in between! They fully deserve recognition for all they contribute to our communities."

Organisations interested in taking part are being encouraged to visit the #VolunteersWeekScot section of the Volunteer Scotland website to access a range of promotional resources, social media toolkits and suggestions for activities.