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IT'S HANDS UP FOR VOLUNTEER TRUSTEES

5th November 2014

The National Body for Volunteering, Volunteer Scotland, is celebrating the diversity of volunteers during its 30th Anniversary Year by joining with Members of the Scottish Parliament to promote the value of volunteers during Trustees' Week in Scotland, which takes place 10th till the 16th November.

Trustees' Week is an annual event each November recognising the difference thousands of volunteer trustees make across Scotland. And this year marks three decades of promoting the value and worth of volunteers as Volunteer Scotland celebrates its 30th anniversary as the national body for volunteering.

2014 continues to be a significant year for volunteering in Scotland and a great time to be highlighting the contribution volunteers make to the communities of Scotland, including through managing and running Scotland's Charitable Trusts. Volunteer trustees as leaders are central in supporting individuals, communities and the country and volunteers everywhere are at the heart of Scotland's communities and making them better places.

The Scottish Parliament took the opportunity to join the Trustees Week celebrations by endorsing the wide range of work that volunteer trustees undertake.

George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland, says: "At Volunteer Scotland we recognise the vast wealth of experience that volunteer trustees bring to our communities, we are also keenly aware of the immense pressures they are under in running the diverse range of Scotland’s Charitable Trusts. We are also aware of the many challenges volunteer trustees face in, with increasing workloads, increased demands on services and promoting a more equal Scotland. Trustees’ Week is an opportunity for us as a community to thank volunteer trustees in undertaking their invaluable volunteering role.

"In Scotland each year 30% of adults give over 160 million hours of precious time in a vast range of community settings. This makes a huge difference to people, to the economy, to services, and the environment and all done freely. Trustees’ Week celebrates the good in volunteering and as we look ahead to the changes of the next 30 years one thing I’m sure is that volunteering will continue to be friendly, uplifting and rewarding."

Pledging their support for Trustees Week and Volunteer Scotland, MSPs stressed the value to local communities of greater recognition of the immense task many volunteer trustees face and pledged to help raise awareness of their volunteering throughout Scotland.

Martin Docherty, Policy Advisor at Volunteer Scotland, says: "We’re delighted with the tremendous cross party support and leadership for volunteering shown by our MSPs this year especially as we celebrate the contribution of Scotland’s Volunteer Trustees; it’s definitely a hands up from Parliament for all they do."

MSP David Stewart was among the first to support the campaign.

"I am delighted to be supporting the volunteering Scotland as it enters its 30th year. Volunteering plays an important role in the lives of many people across Scotland and important in supporting individuals and communities. Trustees also play a vital role in the supporting many organisations and providing leadership and direction. I am proud of my own experience as a Trustee of Inverness Caledonian Thistles charitable trust and I would encourage more people to become involved and let them know that support is out there."

“We have a rich tapestry of Volunteer Trusteeship in Scotland and they should be recognised for their efforts and the huge benefits they contribute to the Highlands and Islands."

If you want to join the celebrations this year by volunteering or want to find out more, visit: www.volunteerscotland.org.uk

Facts
Trustees Week runs from 10th 16th November each year.

30% of adults in Scotland volunteer through an organisation or group (Scottish Household Survey, 2012).

These volunteers give over 162m hours each year, equating to an economic value of £2.6bn.

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.

For volunteering opportunities in Caithness contact -
Catherine Patterson
Tel: 01955 605470
EMail - volunteering[AT]cvg.org.uk
Web site - http://www.cvg.org.uk/

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