Volunteer Glasgow News Release:

January 9, 2014

Glasgow’s volunteering champions have issued a New Year plea to reverse the trend that has seen the city consistently bottom of the table when it comes to residents giving up their time to help others.

But Volunteer Glasgow, the group responsible for matching volunteers with opportunities, says it’s not about people’s unwillingness to help, it’s about a lack of opportunities.

“Glasgow is famed as a friendly outgoing city, with its residents only too happy to go out of their way to help others. While the number of approaches we get says Glaswegians are just as happy to freely give their time, energy and skills to all sorts of groups and organisations as anyone else, it’s not always matched by available opportunities,” said the organisation’s Operations Manager, David Maxwell.

The Scottish Household Survey has shown consistent differences between Glasgow and the Scotland average over the last decade. Glasgow has historically had volunteering rates of around 23-24% while Scotland has had a consistent rate of around 30%, with rural areas’ rates of volunteering running even higher at around 45%.

“I would urge organisations across the city to have a think about how they could use this pool of experience and expertise we have willing to give up their time,” said David.

The organisation matches volunteers with opportunities in a vast array of different organisations, everything from sports and education to social care and development charities.

Volunteer Mike Tough has been helping at The Bike Station in the west end for six months.

“I firmly believe in the ethos behind what they’re trying to do here and it’s also a great way of meeting new people and learning new skills. There’s benefits for everyone,” he said.

It is one of the city’s Legacy objectives for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to tap into the goodwill that people have shown in giving up their time to help make the Games a success.

“Lets use the legacy of the Games to help turn around our low levels of volunteering,” added David.

“But the challenge isn’t about persuading more people to think about volunteering, it’s about persuading all the people that run our community groups, sports clubs, charities and public sector organisations to provide more opportunities for people to contribute.”

For more information and resources about engaging volunteers please visit the Volunteer Glasgow website.