The contribution of volunteering to Scotland’s health and wellbeing

Volunteer Scotland and the Scottish Volunteering Forum have launched a major new report ‘The Contribution of Volunteering to Scotland’s Health and Wellbeing’.

It reveals how volunteering can help Scottish society face some of its biggest challenges: an aging population, labour market skills shortages, mental and physical ill-health , social isolation and loneliness, and poor community engagement.

Volunteering brings even greater benefits for volunteers who experience disadvantage and exclusion.

Volunteering’s extraordinary contribution in helping to address Scotland’s health and wellbeing challenges, is demonstrated through:

  • Improving the health and wellbeing of 1.4 million volunteers
  • Supporting activities and sectors which foster health and wellbeing such as sport and physical activities
  • Supporting Scotland’s health and social care sector through the contribution of 200,000 volunteers.

Ten recommendations for both policy makers and practitioners have been put forward, including:

  • How volunteering must accommodate the projected demographic change over the next 20 years
  • Understanding how the health and wellbeing benefits from volunteering vary by role, age, sector and geography
  • The importance of targeting support for the disadvantaged and excluded in society
  • Good practice guidance for engaging and supporting volunteers to optimise health and wellbeing benefits

A supporting document aimed at policy makers and stakeholders has been created to help integrate volunteering into a wide range of policy areas The Contribution of volunteering to a healthier and happier Scotland: how organisations can help to influence policy and practice in Scotland This document will be of interest to policy teams within the Scottish Government as well as local authorities, Health and Social Care Partnerships and organisations across the voluntary, public and private sectors.

This report follows the publication of Scotland’s ‘Volunteering for All National Framework’ earlier this year.  The 2019-20 Programme for Government highlights our commitment to developing and launching a delivery plan for the Outcomes Framework over the next year.

For more and to view the report click here: