Volunteering festival plans move forward

Stirling volunteering festival

Councillors have committed £50,000 towards a year-long celebration of volunteering in Stirling

5th March 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Plans for a Scottish celebration of volunteering have taken a step forward.

Stirling Council has committed £50,000 towards plans for a year-long Festival of Volunteering in the city.

The initiative – which is due to take place next year – was conceived after Stirling was edged out by Italian city Padua in the contest to be crowned European Volunteering Capital (EVC) 2020.

More than 140 organisations had pledged their support for the city’s bid, as did the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon alongside the Scottish Government and a number of celebrities.

Despite the disappointment at the final outcome, the council along with bid partners, Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise (SVE) and Volunteer Scotland, reiterated their commitment to ensuring 2020 is a year-long festival of volunteering.

Increasing volunteering levels to 50% across Stirling is at the heart of this exciting project, bringing the significant benefits of helping others to local people, with the wider aim of inspiring communities across Scotland and beyond to get involved.

This will continue in the following year (2021) when Stirling plans to host the world’s first ever Volunteering Expo.

Convenor of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Councillor Chris Kane, said: “Approving this funding shows our continuing commitment to volunteering in Stirling and will ensure we deliver something really special in 2020.

“From working together during this process, the three bid partners have built a very strong relationship and we are all moving forward with a common purpose and a shared vision.

“The journey to make Stirling a centre of excellence for volunteering is well underway.”

Figures released from the Scottish Household Survey indicated that volunteering in the Stirling area had risen by 7% from the previous year. Encouragingly, 39% of residents now report volunteering in their communities, more than 10% above the national average and equating to approximately 30,500 people.