Volunteering for all - Widening access and opportunities to volunteer
29th April 2019
A new framework aimed at getting more people involved in volunteering has been launched.
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. And it will celebrate the contributions that have already been made and will encourage everyone who wants to volunteer to take part.
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 were volunteers.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell 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 (beginner and intermediate) 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 an increase in volunteering 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."
Carol Gilchrist, founder member and director of Maslow's Community Shop said:"Over the last nine months, volunteers welcomed and supported 320 newly arrived asylum seekers by providing them with free clothes and household goods and signposting them to other supportive organisations.
"As an organisation we are trying to recruit more local volunteers and by telling our regular customers that we also support people from the local community and deliver social events has brought people from different backgrounds together and created a sense of community cohesion."
The framework has been developed jointly with partners from the volunteer and community sector, local government and NHS, with academics and social researchers, and with volunteers.