Comment by Jonathan Christie, Deputy UK Director of The Wood Foundation

 

 

“We welcome the ambition and cross-cutting nature of the framework. Whilst recognising the value, impact and importance of volunteering in Scotland, it rightly identifies the barriers faced to make volunteering accessible and attractive to cross-sections of society.

“Broadening volunteering beyond a committed civic core of individuals, particularly focussing on engaging with marginalised groups, is vitally important. Furthermore, the emphasis on the absolute need for cross-sector, coordinated responsibility within this framework will be crucial as we collectively develop new approaches to empower communities.

“Volunteering in Scotland contributes in excess of £2.62bn to the economy – this is a fantastic achievement and one that should be celebrated. However, we fall behind other countries in terms of the time spent volunteering which shows there is an imperative to sustain and hopefully increase volunteering.

“Therefore, it is essential that we maintain a high level of ambition and provide the opportunities and platforms to nurture a thoughtful, socially-engaged and committed pipeline of young people who can make a difference now and in the future.

“I welcome the commitment to incorporate the recommendations of the National Youth Volunteering Improvement Project (Youth VIP) into the delivery plan in due course. Through our involvement in programmes focussed on developing young people in Scotland, most notably YPI which empowers young people to be active citizens in their communities and delegates philanthropic responsibility, we were lucky enough to be involved in the process and work alongside the inspirational group developing these recommendations.

“The habits that stick start young. We believe that activities which engage a diverse range of young people in the third sector, such as YPI, act a catalyst. Giving young people the opportunity to better understand the third sector, their community and their own potential within civic society, as well as harnessing and developing their skills and confidence to deliver change will ensure the ambitions of this framework are met in the long-term.”