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Volunteers’ Week: A Time To Say Thank You From Voluntary Action Orkney

VOLUNTARY ACTION ORKNEY MARKS VOLUNTEERS’ WEEK 2021.

2021 marks the 37th year of Volunteers’ Week (1st-7th June), when Voluntary Action Orkney will join thousands of charities and voluntary organisations recognising the contribution volunteers make across the UK and thanking them for all they do.

In this exceptionally difficult year, people around the UK from all walks of life have taken the time to volunteer and have made a huge difference in their communities. The coronavirus pandemic has 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.”

Sam Stringer, Voluntary Action Orkney Volunteer Development Worker, is holding drop- in sessions throughout Volunteers Week where you can find out more about becoming a volunteer. Sam says

“Volunteering is a fantastic way to learn new skills, meet new people, build up confidence and gain valuable work experience. Voluntary Action Orkney will be celebrating some of our local people and voluntary organisations who have given their time and talents to others by volunteering across the isles this year. During the week we will feature volunteer stories on our Facebook page including some of the Marine Coastguard Agency and Red Cross volunteers who were part of the Covid-19 community response. We will also feature individuals who have helped at the vaccination centres, supported communities on non-linked isles and hear from a young person who has just been awarded a Saltire Award for doing 100 hours of local volunteer work.”

If you are interested in volunteering yourself or if you are an organisation wanting to recruit volunteers, find out more by joining one of our Volunteers Week 2021 events. Drop-In slots are available at between 12 and 2pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday where you can book a lunchtime chat with Sam by Zoom or phone. Sam will also be giving a short evening Zoom talk ‘Volunteering in Orkney’ on Tuesday evening.

To book these events or for any other information about volunteering, get in touch with Sam by email or phone – Samantha.Stringer@vaorkney.org.uk 01856 872 897.

Volunteering Stats During Covid-19 (Ipsos Mori June 2020)

· 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).

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