Scotland’s Festival of Volunteering is set to return for a third year. Bigger than ever, the previously week-long festival developed by Volunteer Scotland will now run for the whole of September and over two locations: Stirling and South Ayrshire.
Margaret Starkie, Strategic Engagement Manager for Volunteer Scotland said: “This year the festival will take place in two local authority areas for the first time! We’re delighted to announce that South Ayrshire will be joining Stirling in celebrating the local people, groups and organisations that strive to make a difference in their communities through volunteering. We’ve engaged with over 4,000 people and nearly 200 organisations since we launched our first festival in September 2017 and hope that, year on year, more communities across Scotland will adopt our festival approach to increasing volunteer participation. Anyone can get involved and festivals can be any size, from a single community event to a month-long celebration!”
Stirling’s festivities will kick off in style on 3 September with an award ceremony at Hotel Colessio to recognise and reward the efforts of local volunteers. For the first time the prestigious invite-only event, run by Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise in partnership with Stirling Council, will focus on teams rather than individual volunteers to recognise the differences that volunteering makes when people work together.
During the second week of the Festival (9-15 September), 14 local organisations from across Forth Valley will be given the chance to take over the Festival’s Pop Up stand in Stirling’s Thistles shopping centre to promote their volunteering opportunities, showcase their work and celebrate the work of volunteers.
SVE’s Chief officer Natalie Masterson said: “We have had an amazing take up from local organisations who are very excited to get the opportunity to showcase their organisation in the shopping centre during the festival. We have had great support from the Thistles in making this happen, and it’s a brilliant chance for the public to get a flavour of the diversity of volunteering that is available to them in their local area.”
Other key events during the month include crowd funding community dinner Stirling Soup, Doors Open Days run by volunteers at Bannockburn House, an exhibition organised by Stirling Photography Festival volunteers and the chance to participate in Scotland’s largest participatory art project, The Cube. Click here for the full Stirling line-up.
A local shopping centre will also be the venue for the first ever South Ayrshire Festival of Volunteering on Friday 27 September.
Hosted by Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA), the open day event at Ayr Central will give locals the chance to have a chat with local charities and community groups who are looking for volunteers.
More than 25 organisations and groups will be there on the day with advice and guidance about becoming a volunteer, including opportunities for training, learning new skills, meeting new friends and supporting the local community. There will also be live music, entertainment and a raffle to add to the festival atmosphere.
Hazel Vanzetta from VASA said: “Inspired by the success of Stirling’s Festival of Volunteering, we were keen to put on our own event this year. The response from local organisations has been brilliant, with over 25 already signed up to take part. We hope the festival will give volunteer participation in South Ayrshire a massive boost as it has done in Stirling.”
For further details of South Ayrshire’s festival click here.