Last December ‘Focus Scotland’ came to the Scottish Parliament to help launch their campaign to make 2013 the year to volunteer. I was happy to add my support to their campaign.
Focus Scotland is a magazine which aims to encourage members of the public to get involved in volunteering with charities and other organisations.
Research has shown that over 1.2 million people in Scotland volunteer. Over the course of a year, these volunteers give and average of 142 hours of their time to their chosen cause providing an economic boost of £2.2m.
Being a volunteer can provide a range of benefits. For volunteers, it gives them the opportunity to develop new skills which in turn can help when it comes to finding a job. At the same time, volunteering helps to boost their confidence and self-esteem.
However, the benefits of volunteering are not limited to the individual with communities reaping the rewards. Communities benefit greatly from volunteers’ contribution in that the assistance they give helps individuals, families and the community to deal with local needs and problems.
There are many fantastic charities and voluntary organisations working in the Lothians. If you’re interested then contact the nearest volunteer centre to where you live and they’ll put you in touch with local groups.