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Blog - Employer supported volunteering

July 12, 2016

VS logoA win win win for your social pledge.

George Thomson, CEO at Volunteer Scotland highlights the benefits of employer supported volunteering as promoted by Volunteer Scotland, and invites public sector organisations to consider employee volunteering as one way of contributing positively to communities as part of the Social Impact Pledge initiative.


The social pledge is a great development and one that will open up new possibilities and relationships for your public body. Getting started, and building something meaningful and not tokenistic is especially important if this is new territory to you. So I'm inviting you to have a think about employee volunteering as a way forward.

Volunteering is at the heart of a wellbeing agenda, and this is backed up by the evidence that shows a wellbeing win for staff, for beneficiaries, and for communities. Volunteering has often suffered from a stereo type view of being formal and role dependent. The truth is that employees can have a number of different kinds of volunteer experiences in e.g. group/ team activities, direct community action, and in decision- making settings. Pretty much limitless range of possibilities.

Volunteer Scotland has in the last year witnessed a big growth in interest from public sector employers who are linking volunteering to workforce development. Feel free to contact me George Thomsongeorge.thomson@volunteerscotland.org.uk if you want to know more. We're funded by the Scottish Government and here to help you.The main thing is that we encourage a leadership conversation that works out the best way for you.We also encourage new relationship forming with local communities, and believe that strengthening weak ties will be of enormous mutual benefit to you and the communities you relate with.Employee volunteering makes it simple! 

We're in partnership with e.g. Scotland's Urban Past initiative and will be running a joint workshop about how employees can get involved. The key point is that this is one example and a brilliant way of getting out and discovering your community, learning skills such as photography, and helping the national archive along with local project work. Again, contact me for more details.

Recently when SEPA launched its employer supported volunteering policy, I was struck by the amount of positive talk by staff from all over Scotland on a video link up and how much this chimes with the feel good factor in volunteering. You can't get enough of that in a context of making a social impact in your community."

George Thomson

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