Committed volunteers make our community a better place

Monday August 21st 2023

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

The start of a new school year brings about a return to a familiar routine for many. You may have noticed the parks and venues in Midlothian are again packed with youngsters playing sport or taking part in other activities. Most of these activities would not take place without the committed volunteers who make them happen.

Week after week, volunteers manage their own personal commitments along with their dedication to provide our youngsters with opportunities to grow, learn, and thrive.

Our volunteers are not only to be found within sports or activities clubs, but right at the heart of our community. It may be in food banks, charity shops, environmental projects, elderly care services, day centres, working with animals and I could most certainly list many more.

Although it may be more appropriate to quantify volunteers’ contribution in terms of compassion and effort, Scottish Government figures show that every year volunteering contributes more than £2 billion to the Scottish economy.

The Scottish Government recognises the important role of volunteering in Scotland and last year launched Scotland’s volunteering action plan, which aims to create a society where everyone can volunteer, more often, and throughout their lives. The action plan seeks to raise the profile of volunteering and its impact on society.

If you are thinking of volunteering and have time to spare, the benefits are not one-sided. It can be a great opportunity to meet new people and get involved in a fulfilling experience that really makes a difference while passing on your skills, knowledge and time.

I would like to express my gratitude to the volunteers in our communities who are generous with their time and energy to make our community a better place.

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