Volunteer Scotland 2019 roundup

20 December 2019

View the latest from 'Our Newsletter' in this roundup of 2019 from Volunteer Scotland.

With 2019 coming to a close I thought I'd reflect on the year that has brought us the Scottish Government's Volunteering for All Framework. We have played a key part, along with partners, in supporting the development of the Framework and look forward to working closely with others to deliver the outcomes to encourage inclusion in volunteering and increase volunteering participation in 2020 and beyond. 

- George Thomson, Volunteer Scotland CEO

Our Latest Research

What does a Scottish volunteer look like?

SHS Square ImageThe latest research publication 'Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Scottish Household Survey' provides a fascinating insight into the characteristics of Scottish volunteers. The Highlights Report provides an infographics summary of the key statistics and there are also eight themed reports:

This evidence will help to inform the prioritisation, development and rollout of programmes and initiatives flowing from Volunteering for All: Our National Framework.While this new research indicates the factors that are associated with greater volunteering, it also highlights ‘barriers’ to volunteering for those with ill-health, poor healthy behaviours, financial disadvantage, poor social capital and a lack of community engagement. As evidenced by the recently published research on The Contribution of Volunteering to Scotland's Health and Wellbeing it is these very groups in society who have the most to gain from volunteering. The challenge is how best to address these aspects of disadvantage and achieve a fairer, more inclusive society; where volunteering is an activity truly accessible to anyone.

View more here

HWBVol Square

Volunteering, Health & Wellbeing

Our recent research publication ‘The Contribution of Volunteering to Scotland’s Health and Wellbeing’ is an in-depth study that looks as far ahead as 2040. It reveals how volunteering can help Scottish society face some of its biggest challenges: an ageing population, labour market skills shortages, mental and physical ill-health, social isolation and loneliness, and poor community engagement.

View more here


Our work and partnerships

Playbook squareVolunteer Scotland's Playbook

'Volunteering for All’ is the vision of the Scottish Governments ‘National Volunteering Framework’ which we helped to co-design. We share the ambition of a Scotland where everyone can volunteer, more often, and throughout their lives, and we accept a shared ownership in bringing this goal to life. This ‘Playbook’ provides you with information about who we’ll be working with, as well as the work.

View here

Our Annual Report 

The Volunteer Scotland Annual Report was presented to our members and board at our AGM in October. Available on our website, it includes a message from our retiring Chair Rhona Harper, Governance Highlights, Financial Statement, plus more.

View here


CPGVol SquareThe Cross Party Group on Volunteering kick started the new parliamentary session with its first meeting of 2019/2020 on 5th November which saw the launch of the new Health and Wellbeing research 'The Contribution of Volunteering to Scotland’s Health & Wellbeing'.  The meeting calendar for 2020 is as follows; 21st January, 24th March and 2nd June. The secretariat will be sending out a survey in January to all members to collate information on how the members would like to see the CPG on Volunteering develop and become more action focused, watch this space as we really want to hear from you on how we can continue to evolve this group into a thriving, action focused, innovative group that assists the growth and development of Volunteering. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Cross Party Group on Volunteering please email Margaret Starkie.

A new focus for the Scottish Volunteering Forum

SVF SquareThe Scottish Volunteering Forum has taken on a renewed focus and is now facilitating thematic discussions of VIOs and volunteers to inform key decision-makers and stakeholders, and on contributing to the implementation of the National Outcomes Framework on volunteering. The first thematic meeting took place at the end of November with a focus on barriers and motivations to volunteering, the meeting was its first if it’s kind for the forum and was a great success.  Look out for more information on future meetings. For more information, contact the Chair of the Scottish Volunteering Forum, Sarah Latto, or follow them on twitter @scotvolforum.

Making your Volunteering Offer More Inclusive

Inclusion Logos SquareIn September, the National Inclusion in Volunteering Group ran the first and extremely popular Making Your Volunteering Offer More Inclusive workshop. The workshop is a fireside discussion where members of the Inclusion group share advice and guidance on inclusion in volunteering as well as their Top Tips Documents, which are available to download on our website. Participants are actively encouraged to take part in the conversation by sharing their experiences, thoughts and opinions. Dates for workshops in 2020 will be shared on our website in the new year.

Find out more

The Volunteer Support Pot

VSP SquareThe Volunteer Support Pot had a successful year supporting volunteers of the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles. We were delighted to be able to meet some of the volunteers we supported on their last volunteering day, please watch our short video which captures feedback from the volunteers and also some great photos!

Next year we will be working in partnership with Glasgow Life and the Scottish Football Association to support volunteers of the Euros 2020. More details will follow in the New Year.

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Volunteers' Week 2019

Vol Week Info & Logo SquareVolunteers’ Week 2019 was ‘Time to Celebrate’ volunteers and volunteering. More than 50 volunteer stories were shared on the #VolunteersWeekScot website, over 100 photos were taken with the selfie frame and in the 7 days there was an overall social media reach of more than 6 million.

We have been working with the National Partners: NCVO, Volunteer Now and WCVA on plans for 2020 and will share them with you in the New Year.

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Free Online training

Online Training SquareIn early 2019, along with the Open University, we launched the free online course Involving Volunteers. This short course was developed from the volunteer’s perspective and explores the essential things you need to consider to ensure a positive experience for individuals engaging in volunteering.

It is important to us that continuous learning and development opportunities are easily accessible to all volunteer involving organisations, especially smaller community groups and organisations.

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The Opportunity Search

At the end of March we launched, in partnership with SCVO, the new and improved volunteer opportunity search.  It is now faster, easier and more accurate. The 'My Volunteer Account' has also been upgraded. Signing up has never been easier. 

View here

VolZone Square

The Volunteering Zone

The new Volunteering Zone platform launched along with the new opportunity search. The Volunteering Zone is an online platform that allows national organisations to create, manage and publish their opportunities across Scotland.  If your organisation has roles that take place in 3 or more local authority areas in Scotland, then you may be eligible to register.

Find out more

PVG Bill Review Process

Stage 1 of the Bill Process is almost complete. We are here to answer any questions you have regarding the Bill process and will share further updates in 2020.

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The 20th August 2019  saw the close of call for evidence as part of stage 1 of the review.  The Education and Skills Committee is designated as the lead Committee for Stage 1 scrutiny.

Review feedback here

Investing in Volunteers

iiv squareWe've had another great year working with around 50 organisations to develop their volunteer programme through the Investing in Volunteers quality standard. It’s been a pleasure working with these organisations and supporting their development. We have seen a real commitment to improving volunteer practice from new organisations achieving IiV for the first time, to organisation committed to continuous development, maintain the standard for 12 years. We look forward to 2020 to continue supporting and developing volunteer programmes across Scotland.

Find out more

Congratulations to all the organisation who have achieved IiV in 2019:

1st Achieved

  • Leonard Cheshire Disability
  • Central Scotland Regional Equality Council
  • Victim Support Scotland
  • Sistema Scotland 
  • Healthy Valley's 
  • Dumfries & Galloway Befriending Project
  • Whiteinch Community Centre 

1st Renewal

  • LGBT Health and Wellbeing
  • Young Scot
  • Bethany Christian Trust
  • Scottish Ambulance Service

2nd Renewal

  • University of Stirling Students Union
  • North Glasgow Community Food Initiative
  • Prostate Cancer UK
  • Lightburn Elderly Association Project (LEAP)
  • Changeworks
  • Pilmeny Development Project
  • Royal Voluntary Service UK

3rd Renewal

  • Action on Hearing Loss
  • Volunteer Centre East Ayrshire
  • Lothian Community Transport Services
  • Volunteer Edinburgh
  • Scottish Refugee Council
  • Pilton Equalities Project

4th Renewal

  • Lead Scotland 
  • Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland