As British summer time ends and the clocks go back this weekend, Scottish MSPs have joined forces with Focus Scotland Magazine to ask residents of Paisley to consider using their hour gained to contribute to some community based volunteering.
Every year, more than 30% of adults across Scotland volunteer, donating more than 142 million hours to their communities each year. It has been estimated that the economic value of this activity is worth in excess of £2.2 billion to our economy. Services and initiatives that are vital to the running of our country simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for volunteers.
Even as little as an hours worth of volunteering can have a positive effect on the local community. One hours worth of volunteering can make a real difference.
In an hour, a volunteer walk leader can support someone to take part in a Health Walk on a risk assessed route. Health Walks are undertaken on a regular basis to improve health and are for inactive people who would benefit most from doing more physical activity. Health professionals suggest everyone should try to take 30 minutes of physical activity a day
An hour could help relieve the isolation of an older person by supporting them to get out and about through a range of befriending activities helping
In an hour, you could help clean up your local area through a litter pick or other initiative. If you would prefer to take part in a larger scale activity there are a number of organised clean ups supervised by local agencies, making a substantial improvement to the local landscape and surroundings.
Pledging their support for the campaign, MSPs stressed the value to local communities of greater local involvement in voluntary action and pledged to help raise awareness throughout Scotland.
MSP George Adam was among the first to support the campaign.
George said – ‘There is a proud tradition of volunteering in Paisley. Our town has a rich history and associated with it a dedicated army of volunteers such as those involved with the Sma Shot Cottages, the Paisley Thread Museum and Paisley Abbey. We shouldn’t forget those involved with young people, the Scouts and BB associations and I know a number of young volunteers involved in the Prince’s Trust.
‘We have a rich tapestry of community involvement and those involved should be recognized for their efforts and the positive perspective of Paisley that they contribute towards.’
If you want to join in the campaign and volunteer or just want to know more about how you can help within your local community visit the Volunteer Scotland website www.volunteerscotland.org.uk
• 30% of adults in Scotland volunteer through an organisation or group (Scottish Household Survey, 2009/10).
• These volunteers give over 142m hours each year, equating to an economic value of £2.2bn.
• 60% of people feel they have never been asked to volunteer (VDS, 2004).
• An estimated 78% of young people do not associate volunteering with good citizenship (Being Young in Scotland, 2009).
• Volunteering can deliver health benefits to volunteers (Volunteering England, 2008).
• Volunteers report that their volunteering provides them with valuable skills and experience, and helps them find a job.
• Volunteering can have major positive benefits, including skills development, health improvement, mental wellbeing, building confidence and self esteem.