Organisations across the country are marking Volunteers' Week 2021
A massive thank you has been said to those who have given up their time to help Scotland through the coronavirus crisis.
Volunteers' Week takes place from today (1 - 7 June) with a theme of Thank You for this year's calendar of events.
The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering. However, the coronavirus pandemic has rightly raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by the UK’s volunteers.
Volunteer Scotland chief executive Alan Stevenson said "Volunteers’ Week is a time to thank all of the volunteers in the UK, for the support and services they provide each year. The pandemic has changed volunteering with many more of us helping others within our local neighbourhood than ever before, so taking the time to thank them for this critical contribution and connection to the most vulnerable in our society is essential.
"In the last year, countless volunteering programmes have paused (we hope not closed) so this year it is especially important to also recognise those who have been unable to volunteer, or volunteer as regularly, or those who may be anxious about resuming. Remember, they are Scotland’s volunteers, we celebrate them and look forward to their full return."
Volunteering during Covid-19
- Almost three quarters (74%) of adults in Scotland gave time to volunteer during Covid-19, this represents a 26% increase in volunteering 'during Covid- 19' compared to the SHS 2018 participation rate of 48%.
- This figure is comprised of 13% of adults formally volunteering, 16% volunteering through mutual aid groups, 35% informally volunteering and 32% of adults in Scotland who undertook at least one volunteer activity type during Covid-19 but who didn’t identify as a volunteer.
- 11% more people expect to be volunteering after Covid-19 than before (59% vs. 48%)
- Compared to SHS 2018 data, all types of volunteering are projected to increase:
- Formal volunteering – from 26% to 37%
- Informal volunteering – from 36% to 47%
- Total volunteering – from 48% to 59%
- Compared to Ipsos-Mori data mutual aid volunteering has also increased from during COVID-19 to post COVID-19: From 16% - 32% (not recorded in SHS).
This year's event is the 37th annual Volunteers' Week, with a series of online events planned to mark the occasion.
Shona Robison, cabinet secretary for social justice, said: "Volunteers have played an essential part in Scotland’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. We have been humbled as people delivered groceries, dropped off medicines and other essentials, or supported those who were isolated.
"Volunteers’ Week offers us a chance to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to them all for doing so much to get Scotland through this difficult period."
AdoptionUK is just one of the organisations that is paying tribute to its volunteers this week.
AdoptionUK Scotland director, Fiona Aitken, said: “Thanks to the support of volunteers, our small team is able to have a wider reach and make more of an impact on families in need across the country. Volunteering provides the opportunity to make a significant difference for parents and children who may be in need of support, and the chance to be part of our mission to see families with children unable to live with their birth parents thrive in Scotland.
“During the pandemic, when regular opportunities for face to face events and meetings stopped within AUK, some volunteers were able to adapt to the online world. It is especially important to thank them for keeping this critical contribution and connection going. It is equally important to also recognise those who have been unable to volunteer, or volunteer as regularly, as well as those who may be anxious about resuming. Thank you to all our volunteers.”
TFN will be covering lots of stories to mark the week, so be sure to keep checking our channels.