Stirling has witnessed a surge in volunteer numbers. According to the latest Scottish Household survey 39% of people in Stirling volunteer – more than 10% above Scotland’s national average (28%).
The figure equates to approximately 30,500 volunteers involved in formal volunteering through an organisation or group – an increase of 7% from the previous year.
Stirling held Scotland’s first ever Festival of Volunteering in 2017 and is in the running to be crowned European Volunteering Capital 2020.
The rise in volunteer numbers has been welcomed by Stirling’s 2020 bid team, led by Stirling Council, Volunteer Scotland and Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise.
George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland said: “European Volunteering Capital is more than just a title for us, we want to use it as a catalyst for change. We have a shared goal to bring the feelgood benefits of volunteering to all and have set an ambitious target of increasing volunteering to 50%. These new figures show that it’s more than possible to achieve and 2020 will be our breakthrough year.”
The EVC contest recognises regions which offer outstanding support for volunteers.
Natalie Masterson, Chief Executive of Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise said: “We know that volunteering needs a helping hand to flourish. Inclusion in volunteering is one of our key priorities and in 2019 we’ll be going out into communities to find out what we can change to make volunteering more accessible to all.”
Stirling’s bid video, outlining the city’s plans for 2020, has been unveiled by the European Volunteer Centre. View here
Councillor Chris Kane, Convener of Stirling Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, said: “These figures highlight once again that the people of Stirling are passionate about volunteering, enriching our communities by helping others. I’m sure we’ll rise to the challenge, helping us smash our 50% target and make Stirling an inspiration to volunteering across the continent.”
If Stirling’s bid is successful, Scotland will be home to a European Volunteering Capital for the first time. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 5 December in the Danish city of Aarhus, the current title holder.