Perspectives from GDA on the Young People in Scotland survey

3 February 2017


by Brian Scott, Development Manager at Glasgow Disability Alliance  

"(it's) a positive highlight that volunteering is higher amongst young people with a physical or mental health condition"

PHOTO Brian 2016_150

Brian Scott is Development Manager at Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA). Glasgow Disability Alliance is a membership organisation with more than 3,500 members. They're run by and for disabled people. Brian provides his views on Volunteer Scotland's latest Young People in Scotland volunteering survey.

As a disabled persons’ organisation we welcome the findings revealed by the survey on young people’s involvement in volunteering. 

With a lot at stake, let's understand this better 

It's of particular interest and indeed a positive highlight that volunteering is higher amongst young people with a physical or mental health condition of 12 months or more.

This finding is very welcome and exploration of the factors which underpin this surprising finding may well inform national efforts to address the under-representation of disabled adults in volunteering.

This research provides new insights and we are hopeful that these findings on the nature and extent of volunteering participation among young people can support our efforts to enable more disabled people to volunteer.

We need to hear from pupils in special schools   

One aspect of the research which we'd be keen to highlight is in regard to the research methodology and specifically the exclusion of pupils in special schools from the research.

Our feeling is that the young people in special schools may face additional barriers to volunteering participation. In fact, we'd suggest that there is merit in including special schools in future research to ensure that the (volunteering) experiences and the attitudes of young people with more complex support needs are considered.


While these are welcome findings they also clearly point to areas where more work and greater understanding is needed.  

Brian Scott

Development Manager at Glasgow Disability Alliance

Further information

This research was undertaken on Volunteer Scotland’s behalf by Ipsos-Mori and involved a self-completion questionnaire completed in school time across 52 state secondary schools in Scotland. The detailed results are available from here and the summary results here.

Volunteer Scotland would welcome feedback on the research findings and engagement on youth volunteering more generally. Please contact Matthew Linning or Gemma Jackson (01786 479593)

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