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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

More time off needed for volunteers says charity

This news post is about 8 years old

​Businesses need to give more time off to encourage staff to volunteer for causes

A north east charity is calling on more businesses to allow staff time to volunteer.

Aberdeen based North East Sensory Services (Ness) is calling on employers to support workers who want to support charities which rely heavily on unpaid workers to mark Volunteer Week (1-7 June).

A Community Life Survey for 2012-13, commissioned by the UK government, found that 44% of adults volunteered formally at least once in the year, up from 39% in 2010, meaning more than 15 million people across the UK already give up their time, with politicians wanting that figure to rise in the coming years.

Ness currently has more than 100 volunteers who do everything from providing service users with transport to medical appointments to delivering IT training at its base on John Street in Aberdeen.

Chief executive Graham Findlay said: “Like every charity we rely on people to give up their time for free to help up – without them we would not be able to offer our services.

“While it is great that people choose to volunteer with us, others are put off due to simply not having enough time in the day because of work and other commitments. I would like to see more employers encouraging staff to help charities out.

“In essence, doing so may prove cost-neutral to companies due to the additional skills their staff acquire, as well as increases in productivity and morale.”

Scott Esson (pictured), 18, who works for Schlumberger, volunteers for Ness during evenings and weekends. He said: “I volunteer with the Young Person’s Sensory Service and help out on residential trips and Saturday morning clubs. I got involved with Ness through the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and carried on after I received my award because I enjoyed helping out.”

The issue of volunteering became a battleground during the recent general election campaign with the Conservatives pledging to give some employers the right to three days of leave from work to volunteer.

The scheme, if delivered, would make it compulsory for public sector employers and firms with more than 250 workers to give staff unpaid leave to volunteer.



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