6.1 Volunteering in Scotland

Having thought about volunteer engagement in your setting, it is worth considering how the wider landscape of volunteering in Scotland might impact on how you intend to involve people.

In Scotland, the annual Scottish Household Survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (SHS) asks participants about volunteering. From this, we know that 27% of adults aged 16 and over had volunteered at least once in the last 12 months (2017). And those people who say that they volunteer weekly make up only 12% of the adult population.

So, those groups and organisations that need a weekly contribution are reliant on a small proportion of the population. Volunteer Scotland has carried out further analysis of the SHS survey findings, which can be found on their website.

Volunteer Scotland has also undertaken research into youth volunteering (11–18 years) and the volunteer rate has increased dramatically from 33% in 2009 to 52% in 2016. This paper, Young People and Volunteering in Scotland 2016, provides information on the different ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors that encourage young people to volunteer.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has published a report on the volunteering experience called Time Well Spent. It explores how volunteering fits into people’s lives, what a quality volunteer experience looks like and how to better engage potential volunteers.

Investing in Volunteers (IiV) is the UK’s quality standard for volunteering. There are six quality areas and organisations are supported to develop in these areas to achieve the award. This course reflects the IiV standard and you can find out more on the Investing in Volunteers website.

Volunteer Friendly is a Scotland wide quality standard, to support, develop, reward and recognise volunteer programmes. It is designed for small groups/organisations who may not be ready to undertake IiV. Find out more on the Volunteer Friendly website.

6 Developing your practice

6.2 Developing your reflective practice