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19th June 2023

Volunteering Action Plan - 1 year on

It's the first anniversary of the Volunteering Action Plan and we've been blown away by what's been achieved over the past year.

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice

“I’m pleased to see progress on the implementation of the Volunteering Action Plan and the continuing spirit of co-production across the sector. I have found the research and advice from the cross-cutting Cost of Living Volunteering Task Group invaluable in understanding the impact the cost crisis is having on volunteering across Scotland and the ways in which the sector can be supported.”

Alan Stevenson, Volunteer Scotland CEO

“It's a privilege to lead on the Volunteering Action Plan in its first year. You should know that your ‘Plan’ has enabled the Sector to co-create measured responses to the Cost of Living Crisis. It's also improved Our Policy Influence and Our Promotional impact - Volunteers’ Week was one event to benefit from the work of the new National Recognition and Celebrations Group. In significant ways, the Plan is making volunteering more inclusive. Year 2 will see even greater involvement from You in Your Plan - and that's exciting”

How we've been 'Living the Plan'

The Volunteering Action Plan has been co-produced by the sector, this establishes an ongoing commitment to collaborate and co-own the Plan’s implementation over the next 10 years. In the last year some of our progress highlights include:

  • The Policy Champions Network now has almost 60 members representing a range of volunteer involving organisations, Third Sector Interfaces, national umbrella bodies and other key stakeholders. Many the Cost of Living Task Group members have also recently joined the network.

  • The Cost of Living Task Group has began developing a National Volunteer Recruitment Campaign based on findings from the last Cost of Living and Wellbeing Crisis Quarterly Bulletin.  

  • The Recognition and Celebration Group led a successful Volunteers’ Week campaign in Scotland. Across the 7 days, the #VolunteersWeekScot reached over 76 million people worldwide and more than 15 thousand Volunteer subscribers were sent digital Thank You Cards from the team. 2024 will be the 40th Anniversary of the campaign. The group are already began planning with the UK Partners to make it an even bigger (and better) celebration.

  • Corresponding with Action 41 in the Volunteering Action Plan, Volunteer Scotland relaunched the Volunteer Charter during this years Volunteers’ Week. The Charter supports the foundations for a good volunteer experience and gives individuals, groups and organisations the opportunity to express their support for the spirit of volunteering while upholding the principles of good volunteer practice. Find our more here.

  • To help inform the delivery of Action 32 – ‘Volunteering Opportunities by Lifestage’ – Volunteer Scotland published ‘Young People in Scotland Survey 2022’. On the Volunteers’ Week Power of Youth Day, Volunteer Scotland co-hosted an online Evidence Session, with over 70 delegates from across the sector, to share key findings from the research and discuss implications for volunteering policy and practice.

For more detailed updates right to your mailbox, subscribe to the Volunteering Action Plan Newsletter via the webform here.

Local Spotlight

We’d like to give a big shout out to Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise and local partners – they are leading the way and setting an example for others to follow by being one of the first local authority areas to devise a local response to the Volunteering Action Plan.

‘Stirling’s Alive with Volunteering’ brand is doing incredible work to make the city’s vibrant volunteering culture more inclusive and accessible for everyone. Increasing the number of volunteers and making sure every citizen can benefit from volunteering will help in tackling poverty and inequality in Stirling and contribute to the Local Outcome Improvement Plan.

Coming soon - The Gathering 2023

We are delighted to have received confirmation that our application to host an event at this year’s SCVO The Gathering has been accepted.

Date of The Gathering: 7th and 8th November

Location: EICC, Edinburgh

About our session: Our session will be an interactive workshop reflecting on the last 18 months of the Volunteering Action Plan since its launch in June 2022, looking at:

  • the issues facing the sector/your organisation
  • how best to prioritise those issues against the 49 Actions
  • how to develop your actions using an action canvas template

We will send more information and booking links soon as it is made available on The Gathering website.

Get Involved

If you want to get more involved in implementing the plan and collaborate with more organisations and groups from across the sector head to the Volunteering Action Plan website to find out more about how you can get involved.