Our Policy Work

We help make sure public policy takes account of volunteers' experiences, and the difference volunteering makes to society.

Volunteering plays a crucial role in helping to build a society that is cohesive and connected. It involves grass-roots participation and provides a network of social relationships that connect people to their own communities – a connection that is vital to building democratic, healthy and self-sustaining communities.

In other words, volunteering helps to build social capital in its connecting, bridging and linking forms. The concept of social capital has given renewed impetus to the general insight that trust and reciprocity matter to the quality of life.

It suggests that successful societies can draw on shared values, social networks and trust, and that these are generated and sustained through connected activity. Increasingly, volunteers are recognising how they can play a critical role in supporting their services -from education and housing to health and social care- and how, with the right support, volunteering in its myriad forms can help to make life better for their communities.

Volunteering can address key issues such as poverty, equalities, community empowerment and public service reform.

Our Approach

At Volunteer Scotland, we are totally focussed on working in partnership to increase participation rates and to ensure that volunteers have a positive experience and outcome.

We work closely with the Scottish Government, Scottish Volunteering Forum, Voluntary Action Scotland and others at Volunteer Scotland; we are totally focussed on working in partnership to increase participation rates and to ensure that volunteers have a positive experience and outcomes. Adopting this collaborative approach, we contribute to volunteer development in Scotland and encourage good practice.

Volunteer Scotland  is working with the Improvement Service to identify and to create new opportunities for volunteering.

Volunteer Scotland is also joint-secretariat of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Volunteering. 

It is important that the new CPG is output driven and that it makes a significant contribution to volunteering growth in Scotland and provides leadership to make this growth become a reality.

To achieve this aim, it is important that we are able to deliver the aboveremit of the new group.

The key themes that will be addressed by the CPG will be;

  • increasing participation rates and expand diversity of volunteering
  • providing opportunities, with elected MSPs and Scottish Government Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers, to defend, celebrate and promote the values and benefits of volunteering, including those in  health and social care 
  • accelerating  transformational change by providing the leadership  necessary to empower individual citizens
  • reviewing all relevant research and production of data that supports the impact of volunteering to both the individual and Scottish society

Remit for CPG

  1. To raise awareness of volunteering in all sectors to ultimately increase participation rates in all its forms
  2. To ensure volunteering has a high profile in the Scottish Parliament and influence Scottish Government Policy
  3. To ensure opportunities for volunteering  are recognised across all SG directorates  
  4. Examination and sharing of research in other parts of UK and beyond
  5. To liaise and work with other CPGs to promote volunteering

List of MSPs within the Membership:

  • Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP (Scottish Lib Dem) – Convener
  • Jeremy Balfour MSP (Scottish Conservatives) – Vice Convener
  • Miles Briggs MSP (Scottish Conservatives)
  • Johann Lamont MSP (Scottish Labour)
  • Pauline McNeill MSP (Scottish Labour)
  • Fulton McGregor MSP (Scottish National Party)