Pre-retirees are transforming Scots communities


Communities enriched by middle-aged volunteers 

25th January 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Pre-retirees in Scotland are on a mission to revive their communities, revealing they want to use their skills and experience to kick-start their own, diverse range of clubs and activities.

New research from national volunteering organisation Royal Voluntary Service found over two fifths (41%) of 50-65 year olds in Scotland are interested in volunteering to spearhead their own groups and activities as a way to boost support for people in their community.

Across the UK these pre-retirees are also thinking in an eclectic way when it comes to the activities they want to start.

Claiming the clubs currently on offer don’t match their interests, they instead are motivated to introduce a raft of new ones such as walking groups (33%), games clubs (16%), live music and film screening groups and tablet and tech training classes(both 13%).

Even adventure sports and dating groups are on the radar for some.

Many 50-65 year olds think it’s in their hands to revive their communities – and their particular focus is on supporting older people. More than one fifth (24%) believe the onus is on the general public to step in to help older people, whilst more than half (55%) believe older people are not supported enough in Great Britain and there is a huge gap in the provision of care.

Additionally, almost one in four (24%) believe by helping older people in the community now, it will create a legacy to support them as they too grow older. 

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of RVS, said: “Volunteering opportunities have in recent years become increasingly structured with volunteers being asked to support the activity after it has been created or in set roles.

“But as the research shows, we are seeing the emergence of volunteers who want to be more creative and lead the development of local activities. They want to give back to their community, but also want greater autonomy over how that support is exercised.

“Many of our volunteers are already leading the way by taking on the running of activities or groups, or by setting one up from scratch, and they are making a huge difference to the lives of thousands of older people each month.”

RVS’s Bring People Together campaign is encouraging more people to volunteer, particularly those aged 50-65. Specifically its aim is to inspire them to start their own activities or clubs for older people with the backing of Royal Voluntary Service.

The programme will initially run in two locations in Scotland: Glasgow and Stirling.

Royal Voluntary Service is one of Britain’s largest volunteering charities with over 25,000 volunteers supporting thousands of older people each month in hospitals and the community.