Our Policy Work

We make sure public policy represents the voice and interests of Scotland’s spectrum of volunteers, from formal to informal. Our policy work will help ensure that more people can volunteer; enjoyably, safely, and regularly.

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.

Increasingly, volunteers are recognising how they can play a critical role in supporting local services and how, with the right support, volunteering in its many different forms can help to make life better for their communities.

Volunteering has a powerful role in addressing key issues such as isolation and loneliness, poverty, inequality, climate change and community empowerment. It also has significant benefits for volunteers themselves, including improved wellbeing, developing new skills, and building social connections. However, it is important to ensure that volunteers can participate in meaningful roles that are appropriate and mutually beneficial.


Our Approach

At Volunteer Scotland we have a collaborative approach to our policy work, applying evidence and values to the creation and application of policy. The voice and experience of volunteers will be at the centre of our influence, and we are always keen to hear from volunteer involving organisations, and volunteers, about issues affecting them.

Given the far-reaching nature of volunteering in public policy, we seek to build relationships with other relevant organisations to exchange expertise and maximise our influence, such as the Scottish Government, SCVO (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations), the TSI (Third Sector Interface) Scotland Network and other relevant bodies nationally and internationally. If required, we will challenge decisions and practices that we believe are contrary to the interests of Scotland’s volunteers.

We maintain a balance of proactive and reactive influence, initiating conversations on key priority areas as well as responding to existing relevant policy discussions.

For more information about our policy work, or to discuss an issue you think needs addressed, please contact our Policy Officer - sarah.latto@volunteerscotland.org.uk


Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Volunteering

Volunteer Scotland provides the secretariat for the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Volunteering at the Scottish Parliament. A CPG provides regular opportunities to influence MSPs, and other relevant stakeholders on a particular theme. The CPG currently has two MSP conveners - Jeremy Balfour MSP (Conservative) and Foysal Chowdhury (Labour), with Fulton McGregor MSP (SNP) as vice convener. For more information on the CPG and how to get involved, email Margaret Starkie on - margaret.starkie@volunteerscotland.org.uk