Campaign launched to support heritage volunteering for all

4 December 2020

The Make Your Mark in Volunteering campaign, which aims to increase the number and diversity of heritage volunteers in Scotland, was launched today - Friday 4th December.

Make Your Mark Logo

The zoom event was opened by Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture Fiona Hyslop, who said, 

"Much of our historic environment is owned and cherished in local communities, and participation through volunteering and engagement benefits not only our heritage assets, but also our communities and the volunteers themselves.

Last year we launched our Volunteering for All framework which recognised that we must do more to increase volunteering opportunities and address inequalities to enable more people to volunteer and participate in society.

The Make Your Mark campaign will help to enhance volunteering activity within the heritage sector, broaden access to volunteering opportunities and support future sector resilience."

Leaders in Scotland’s heritage sector are signing up to recover and renew their volunteering programmes through the Make Your Mark in Volunteering campaign, part of Scotland’s strategy for the built environment Our Place in Time. The campaign will support Scottish heritage organisations to design inclusive volunteering opportunities by promoting best practice, providing a peer-to-peer volunteer organiser network and coordinating a volunteer recruitment initiative to recover volunteering programmes from the challenges of COVID-19.

The launch shared up-to-date evidence from Volunteer Scotland about volunteer participation during COVID-19, provided information about Make Your Mark and asked for input on the campaign’s future activities. To inspire attendees with the amazing work already being done to engage more of Scotland’s people with our shared spaces and places, the launch also presented three inspiring heritage volunteering stories of collaborating with refugees to put on multi-lingual tours, changing volunteer application processes to remove barriers to participation and supporting women of colour to participate in museum exhibition development.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland (HES) said

"As one of the core delivery partners of the Make your Mark initiative, HES is committed to driving creative thinking and collaboration that will help support renewal and growth in heritage volunteering. 

This initiative will bring together organisations and volunteers with inclusion and diversity very much at the forefront of the approach. Our hope is that people from all backgrounds will be able to access and enjoy all the rewarding aspects of volunteering in heritage and I’d very much encourage people to find out more about what is on offer."

In 2021, Make Your Mark will begin advertising campaign sign-ups’ volunteering opportunities and invite people in every part of Scotland to make their own individual and community “mark” in volunteering.

George Thomson Volunteer Scotland CEO and chair of the campaign group said,

"Thank you to everyone involved in launching this campaign today. It will bring to life the value of our heritage, and also bring to life the fantastic willingness of all Scotland’s people and communities to be creative and enjoy themselves through all kinds of inclusive volunteering."

Get involved

Any heritage organisation who works with volunteers or would like to begin working with volunteers can join Make Your Mark. The campaign ascribes to a wide definition of ‘heritage’, including public, private, charitable and other entities – welcoming:

  • Organisations that work with the natural and built environment
  • Organisations that preserve and celebrate intangible heritage (oral histories, dialects, memories, cultures, local lore)
  • Volunteer-led organisations
  • National museums
  • Civic trusts
  • Local heritage and history groups
  • Museums and galleries
  • Historic houses and castles
  • Libraries and archives
  • Buildings and monuments
  • Development trust associations


To become part of Make Your Mark, a heritage organisation must sign an Expression of Commitment 

Become part of Make Your Mark 

More information about the Make Your Mark campaign can be found on the Make Your Mark Campaign Website or contact