14th December 2023
How we are 'Living the Volunteering Action Plan'
In the last 18 months, since the launch of the Volunteering Action Plan, Volunteer Scotland has started incorporating key plan actions into our annual work plan to ensure continued progress and development.
Some of the Actions we’ve made progress on in the last year are:
Our progress so far on Actions 12 & 13:
- Work on collating volunteer voice has started through gathering examples and data from publications, including Faith in Older People ‘The Gift of Age’ research, and through creation and analysis of cost of living survey data. View survey results here.
- Our published research in this period has well received. We have good feedback from the Stakeholder Survey and through feedback from participants at our research events. This has been a period of analysis around NCVO Time Well Spent data for Scotland, OSCR 2022 Survey Volunteers’ report. SHS data availability has made some aspects of our ‘plan’ unable to be delivered and also impacted on sequence and timings more generally.
- The launch of the new volunteer search site has also made it easier for volunteers and organisations to share Volunteer Stories directly to the website. (More info in Action 23/25).
Build Voice capacity through embedding Voice (especially volunteers’ voice) into key decision-making structures and building ‘voice gathering’ capacity (developing skills, educating and providing guides for individuals and organisations).
Build Evidence capacity which includes exploring the feasibility of a Volunteering Research Centre; engaging other sector research specialists; agreeing Volunteering Research protocols for wider research sharing; and supporting organisations to increase their volunteering research capability.
Our progress so far on Action 20:
- 2023 marked the 39th year of Volunteers’ Week across the UK. In Scotland, the campaign was as successful as ever with the hashtag being used more than 10K times throughout the week, reaching over 76 million people worldwide.
- Volunteer Scotland were the proud sponsors of the the first ‘Volunteer Champion Award’ category at the 2023 Social Enterprise Awards Scotland
- Volunteer Scotland were strategic partners of SCVO’s The Gathering 2023, hosting an Exhibition stand and facilitating a sold out event to promote the Action Plan.
Co-ordinating national recognition and celebration initiatives and expanding the Volunteers’ Week programme by including other national events relevant to volunteering.
Our progress so far on Actions 23 & 25:
- The updated Volunteer Search Site (volunteer.scot) launched on 5th December – International Volunteer Day. This new and improved website has been designed to make it easier for anyone and everyone to volunteer, tell their story, find out more about volunteering and advertise volunteering opportunities. Read more here.
- In the first 24 hours after launch there were more than 3.7K hits on the ‘find opportunities’ search results page.
- This new website will be a key asset within the National Recruitment Campaign.
‘Tell your story’ platform that allows volunteers to tell their story in their own words.
Encourage people to consider volunteering through tailored, comprehensive and accessible information and guidance that addresses key questions for non-volunteers.
Our progress so far on Action 36:
- The Scottish Government have carried out a significant review of the education and skills landscape, with plans for reform announced in the most recent Programme for Government. This provides an ideal opportunity to highlight the important role of volunteering for transitions into adulthood with policy makers. This is being progressed through the Policy Champions Network and Volunteer Scotland’s policy function.
Tackle transitions for volunteers into adulthood by engaging education-focused stakeholders and employers; and into retirement by engaging employers and others.
Our progress so far on Action 41:
- The Volunteer Charter relaunch in June 2023 was a great success. The level of engagement significantly surpassed our expectations.
- A newsletter was established and all champion logos promoted on our website here – there are currently more than 180 charter champions!!!
- 33 champions attended the first Champion workshop where they received additional support and guidance and were also given the opportunity to share how they have begun implementing the charter in their programmes and practices.
Fair Volunteering. Reinforce the distinction between volunteering and paid employment by reviewing and relaunching the Volunteer Charter, introducing fair volunteering principles, and reinforcing the importance of paying expenses amongst others.
Our progress so far on Action 49:
- Volunteer Scotland have joined a Net Zero Working Group with third sector representation (strong social enterprise focus, run by Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS)).
- Volunteer Scotland hosted a ‘Net Zero in Volunteering Event’ alongside our 2023 AGM. The interactive session led by internationally renowned speaker Martin J Cowling saw great turn out and discussion with many inspiring discussions taking place.
Just transition to Net Zero for Volunteering - that is fair and creates a better future for everyone. Through a set volunteering 'actions' (which tackle inequalities and centre on people's wellbeing), we'll reduce our emissions and respond to a changing climate.