Up and down the country, people are giving up their time and volunteering for good causes. Whether they’re doing local litter-picks, running local social groups, or volunteering overseas to help those in need, the efforts of volunteers make a huge difference.
Volunteers’ Week, spanning from 1 to 12 June, is chance to celebrate the amazing efforts of Scotland’s one million volunteers – and say thank you to them.
When they’re not chapping doors and delivering leaflets, many SNP members give up their time and volunteering for good causes. Here are just some examples of the amazing work they’re doing.
Samantha Steele is a member of Rosyth and North Queensferry branch, and describes herself as a ‘newbie’ who only joined the SNP in November 2015
I volunteer in the EATS project, Edible and Tasty Spaces, in Rosyth, working in the fabulous Community garden where locals can come along with their families and plant veg and flowers and help themselves to the produce, and in the centenary orchard where locals have planted a wide variety of fruit trees. Both these areas are on reclaimed land.
Also, as part of the EATS project, I help out once a month with “Frank”, the van that gives out delicious, healthy free food to local children, plus free recipe cards and advice about growing your own veg and composting. I am also going to be volunteering in our local foodbank.
I am a childbirth doula – although I’m less active with this at the moment – providing support to the women of Fife during pregnancy, labour and birth. I find all of these activities immensely rewarding!
I got involved in the EATS project via our local Councillor, Sharon Wilson, who set up the project alongside Rosyth Community Council. As I was no longer working full-time in the NHS I decided it was about time I put something back into my local community and help recharge that village spirit.
People can get involved via our EATS page on Facebook – the more the merrier!
David Forbes joined the SNP after the independence referendum, and is a member of Aberdeen South branch.
I’m a Voluntary Chairman for a charity called Future Choices. We are based at Inchgarth Community Centre.
I run a social group for those who are often socially isolated and have a physical disability. The group gets them out, enjoying life and seeing their friends.
For the last 8 years I’ve been putting all my free time into helping others because I feel it’s important for everyone to be able to enjoy socialising.
Future Choices is absolutely close to my heart as my mother gets the benefit as well, as I’m her carer too. Volunteering makes such a difference to others who need it.
I’d urge everyone and anyone to volunteer your time, whatever you can manage. I’m always looking for volunteers, so please get in touch at email@example.com.
Jan Currie is Secretary of Tinto branch where she has been a member since September 2014.
In November 2015 I formed ‘WomanKIND Clydesdale’. We are a group of female volunteers who design and deliver quirky projects encouraging our community to perform ‘small acts of kindness’ which have a big local impact for those in need.
Since launching we have completed many successful projects including ‘Crayons for Weans’ where we collected unwanted wax-crayons, melted them and molded funky new ones. We then collected doodles from children and local and national artists and made unique colouring books to accompany the new crayons. Parceled up, we gifted hundreds to Scottish Women’s Aid, to foodbanks and to every refugee child arriving in Scotland at the time.
Similarly, we ran ‘Handbags for Christmas’ where used handbags and new toiletries were donated in their hundreds in our community. Our volunteers cellophane wrapped the bags and donated them at Christmas to refugee women arriving in Scotland and to foodbanks etc.
A ‘back to school’ uniform bank is our current project, aiming to supply a brand new school uniform to any child whose family are struggling to supply it.
My aim is to make it easy for people to make a small gesture which can have a big impact and to raise awareness of poverty and inequality in our area at the same time.
Julie Philp, joined the SNP a couple of years ago, and is a member of the Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn Branch.
I have stayed in Summerston for over 10 years and was really down about the amount of litter lying around. One day, after a rather depressing and litter fuelled walk to the local train station, I decided to start a local community group called ‘Let’s Make Summerston Sparkle’.
I wanted to re energise the local community and make everyone remember what a great place Summerston really is.
I love the area and I care passionately about making it as clean and tidy as possible for everyone to enjoy the communal spaces. It’s important that everyone takes pride in Summerston – not just me.
I have made so many new friends and we have lots of volunteers of every age who enjoy doing their bit for the local community. For anyone who wants to get involved, we meet on the last Saturday of every month outside the Asda in Summerston at 10am for our monthly litter pick. You can also visit our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/sparklysummerston.
Pam Jackson is a member of the SNP City of Stirling Branch.
Both my husband and I are retired. In 2015 we went to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo for 3 weeks with a charity called Comfort Rwanda Congo, working with various post-genocide projects, and are due to go again this July.
We collect and sort clothes for refugees through Cumbernauld Supporting Refugees. I also joined Positive Action in Housing and went to support refugees in Lesvos for 3 weeks in January 2016.
We volunteer to work with desperate people who have survived atrocities, poverty, and deprivation because we have never had to suffer these things. We feel humbled at their bravery, faith and hope for the future. I volunteered to work in Lesvos because we are sickened by the bombs that have destroyed their home lands, the rape, torture and starvation they have endured. We live in a beautiful, safe country. We have the time and energy to help so we feel we should.
I stay in Lochore in Fife, and I’m involved in a community group in the local area. It gives me a chance to meet others who believe that people can make a difference with positive actions. It’s bringing back the community spirit from when mining was prevalent in this area.
Our group asks people for their ideas for improving our community, and then volunteers get out and put those ideas into action. At the moment we’re working on an area to area litter clean. People are really enthusiastic about creating better conditions and a closer community for the the children and adults in our area, which really important to me.
The praise that’s been received from many people in the community gives each volunteer a sense of pride.
Anyone can come along and get involved, and times and meeting places are added to our Facebook page.