Call to boost city's volunteer image

ORGANISATIONS across Glasgow are being urged to take advantage of the pool of people who offer their services as volunteers.

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The city has too often come bottom of the league table when it comes to residents giving up their time to help others.

But Volunteer Glasgow, the group responsible for matching volunteers with opportunities, say it is not that people are unwilling to help but about lack of opportunities.

The Scottish Household Survey has shown consistent differences between Glasgow and the Scottish average over the last decade.

The city has historically had volunteering rates of around 24% while Scotland has had a consistent rate of around 30%.

Volunteer Glasgow operations manager David Maxwell said: "Glasgow is famed as a friendly, outgoing city with its residents only too happy to go out of their way to help others.

"While the number of approaches we get says Glaswegians are just as happy to freely give their time, energy and skills to all sorts of groups and organisations as anyone else, it is not always matched by available opportunities.

"I would urge organisations across the city to have a think about how they could use the pool of experience and expertise and people willing to give up their time that we have."

The organisation matches volunteers with positions in a vast array of different organisations from sports and education to social care and development charities.

For the past six months, volunteer Mike Tough has been working with the Bike Station in the West End which helps promote cycling.

He said: "It is one of the city's legacy objectives for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to tap into the goodwill people have shown in giving up their time to help make the Games a success.

"Lets use the legacy of the Games to help turn around our low levels of volunteering.

"The challenge is not about persuading more people to think about volunteering but about persuading all the people who run our community groups, sports clubs, charities and public sector organisations to provide more opportunities to contribute."

For the last six years the Evening Times has been highlighting the work of voluteers and voluntary organisations across the city in our Community Champion Awards.

At the grand final in December awards were presented to Hampden Primary School, Cook 'n' Care, Fozya Mahmood, Young Peoples Futures, Greta Riddell, PC Dario D'Andrea, Help Yourself Grow Experience and Glenda Strang.

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