Press Release and photo – Make 2013 your year of Community Volunteering says McLeod

Make 2013 your year of Community Volunteering says McLeod SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Dr Aileen McLeod has joined forces with Focus Scotland Magazine to make promoting community based volunteering her New Year Resolution. The campaign aims to get the Scottish public to embark on a volunteering journey in 2013 whilst raising awareness and promoting community volunteering in 2013. The MSP signed a banner promoting the campaign, which aims to encourage more people in Scotland to volunteer within their community in the hope of increasing community involvement throughout the country in 2013. Dr McLeod, one of the first to sign the campaign banner, said: “I am delighted to support this initiative and to encourage people across Dumfries & Galloway to consider taking up volunteering. “It needn’t be a massive commitment, but every person who gives up even a little bit of their time is making a real difference. Not only that, volunteering can have health and wellbeing benefits and introduce people to new skills or even help you find a job. “Dumfries & Galloway has a strong sense of community spirit and many dedicated volunteers. While I’m keen to help promote volunteering in any way I can this year, I’d also be delighted to have the opportunity to do more volunteering as and when I can.” Focus Scotland Editor Selina Ross added: “Volunteering has never been more in the news and we want to see 2013 be the year we put community volunteering in Scotland clearly on the map. Everyday people throughout Scotland make the lives of themselves and others better by contributing their time, skills and care in a wide variety of ways. We hope in 2013 even more will take the time to get involved.” The last Scottish Household Survey showed that 30% of adults volunteer; this campaign hopes to add to that figure by encouraging everyone to kick off the New Year with a resolution to volunteer in their local community and make a difference. If you have any time to donate to and would be interested you can find out more about volunteering by visiting the portal for all volunteering in Scotland by contacting your local Volunteer Centre. Notes to Editors: * A photo of Dr McLeod signing the banner is attached. * 30% of adults in Scotland volunteer through an organisation or group (Scottish Household Survey, 2009/10). * These volunteers give over 142m hours each year, equating to an economic value of £2.2bn. * 60% of people feel they have never been asked to volunteer (VDS, 2004). * An estimated 78% of young people do not associate volunteering with good citizenship (Being Young in Scotland, 2009). * Volunteering can deliver health benefits to volunteers (Volunteering England, 2008). * Volunteers report that their volunteering provides them with valuable skills and experience, and helps them find a job. * Volunteering can have major positive benefits, including skills development, health improvement, mental wellbeing, building confidence and self esteem.