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15 January 2013

Make 2013 Your Year of Community Volunteering - Stevenson

MSPs have joined forces with Focus Scotland Magazine to make promoting community based volunteering their New Year Resolution.

The campaign launched aims to get the Scottish public to embark on a volunteering journey in 2013 whilst raise awareness and promoting community volunteering in 2013.

Pledging to support the campaign the MSPs signed banners promoting the campaign, which aims to encourage more people in Scotland to volunteer within their community with the hope to see an increase in community involvement throughout the country in 2013.

Following a positive year for the image of volunteering with the successful summer of Games makers with the Olympic Games, Focus Scotland hope that individuals within Scotland continue to volunteer and hope that the campaign will act as a reminder for them of the impact they can have at community level.

Stewart Stevenson MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast was one of the first to sign the campaign banner. Commenting afterward Mr Stevenson said:

“The importance of volunteers in our communities cannot be overstated and this campaign is an opportunity for us all to recognise the good work of volunteers across Scotland, and to encourage more people to get involved in activities in their community.

“Be it taking some time to help out our elderly neighbours, becoming involved in a charity or youth group or helping to organise the 2014 Commonwealth Games, there are endless ways people can help out in their local area, and have a great time, learn new skills and make new friends in the process.

“The profile of the voluntary sector is particularly high just now, and this is the perfect time for someone considering taking up a new voluntary activity to do so, and join in the good work of those already volunteering across the country.”

Focus Scotland Editor Selina Ross added:

“Volunteering has never been more in the news and we want to see 2013 be the year we put community volunteering in Scotland clearly on the map. Everyday people throughout Scotland make the lives of themselves and others better by contributing their time, skills and care in a wide variety of ways. We hope in 2013 even more will take the time to get involved.”

The last Scottish Household Survey showed that 30% of adults volunteer; this campaign hopes to add to that figure by encouraging everyone to kick off the New Year with a resolution to volunteer in their local community and make a difference.

If you have any time to donate and would be interested you can find out more about volunteering by visiting the portal for all volunteering in Scotland www.volunteerscotland.org.uk or by contacting your local Volunteer Centre.

Notes
  • 30% of adults in Scotland volunteer through an organisation or group (Scottish Household Survey, 2009/10).
  • These volunteers give over 142m hours each year, equating to an economic value of £2.2bn.
  • 60% of people feel they have never been asked to volunteer (VDS, 2004).
  • An estimated 78% of young people do not associate volunteering with good citizenship (Being Young in Scotland, 2009).
  • Volunteering can deliver health benefits to volunteers (Volunteering England, 2008).
  • Volunteers report that their volunteering provides them with valuable skills and experience, and helps them find a job.
  • Volunteering can have major positive benefits, including skills development, health improvement, mental wellbeing, building confidence and self esteem.
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