A new framework aimed at getting more people involved in volunteering launched this week.
The Volunteering Outcomes Framework aims to reduce barriers to volunteering for people from all sections of the community, regardless of their background. It will support third, private and public sector organisations to promote the value of volunteering, celebrate the contributions already made and encourage everyone who wants to volunteer to participate.
The framework also aims to build more links with communities, seeking opportunities to share resources and expertise at a grassroots level.
Volunteering adds £2.26 billion to the Scottish economy. In 2017, 28% of adults and 52% of young people aged 11-16 volunteered.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell MSP launched the framework at a visit to Maslow’s Community Shop in Govan, a volunteer-run shop that provides free clothing, toiletries, household goods, food and English classes to asylum seekers, refugees and others in hardship.
Ms Campbell said:
“Volunteering brings enormous enjoyment and advantages to beneficiaries, volunteers and the wider community. We know that volunteering has many positive benefits including increasing social and civil participation, empowering communities, and reducing loneliness and isolation. It can also improve mental and physical health, support the development of job and life skills, and foster an increased sense of belonging.
“We’ve seen volunteering increase in recent years, with the number of 11-16 year old volunteers increasing from 32% in 2009 to 52% in 2017. This is very much welcomed, and I hope that this framework enables even more people to volunteer. Ultimately we want to encourage and create a society where volunteering is the norm for everyone.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“I have spoken to many volunteers over the years, and what they have in common is a real joy and sense of purpose they take from the volunteering they do.
“If you are interested in volunteering but are unsure where or how, I recommend getting in touch with The Ayrshire Community Trust (TACT), which is based in Saltcoats and covers all of the North Ayrshire mainland and Cumbrae via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01294 443044.
The framework has been developed jointly with partners from the volunteer and community sector, local government and NHS, with academics, social researchers and volunteers.
More information about the Volunteering Outcomes Framework can be found here.