Stirling has been announced as a candidate for the European Volunteering Capital of 2020.
From September 19th to September 25th, Stirling hosted its annual festival for volunteering. The events website, festivalofvolunteering.org, describes itself as being a chance to increase public contribution and awareness towards charities across Scotland. The event will also celebrate the amazing volunteering that has taken place across the city.
“We hope to use this as an opportunity to increase volunteering participation to benefit all local communities.” States the festival’s webpage.
The goal of the event is to increase the amount of people participating in volunteering in Stirling and hopefully earn the city the title of the European Volunteering Capital 2020.
“With over one third of local people already volunteering, we want Stirling to be the first area in Scotland where it’s the norm to volunteer and have set an ambitious target to increasing participation to 50%.” Says the events webpage.
The events Facebook page goes onto explain the organization’s ambitions further, adding: “Our overall vision is for the Festival of Volunteering to act as a catalyst to increase volunteering rates, improving health and well-being for the people of Stirling.”
Jack Hannigan, manager/worker at Cancer Research UK Stirling feels volunteering has a positive impact because of the effect it can have not just to an area, but to an individual as well.
“I do like volunteering, I think it really does help boost confidence. That’s how I started out when I was 17, so when I start volunteering it really helped me increase my personal skills, my people skills and gave me confidence in how to do things as well.”
Hannigan describes the importance of these events and volunteering as a whole as being something that can help those in the community stay busy and get into the work environment.
“Now that I’m 21 I’m far more involved in volunteering and I think it’s a great way to start keeping people involved and like getting young people involved in work. Also after people retire as well and even if you’ve just lost your job or anything it’s a good way to help stay active and everything like that. That’s why people should aim to volunteer.”
Volunteer Scotland, the Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise and Stirling council have combined forces in order to make this possible.
You can support Stirling’s chances of becoming the European Volunteering Capital on twitter by using the hashtag: #congainto2020.