Questions for the Voluntary Action Angus Interview
Interview with Gary Malone who is very passionate about volunteering and everything a person can gain from the whole experience. There are currently 6,800 active volunteers within Angus right now: out of a 28,500 population that’s 32%, making Angus the 4th highest area in Scotland for volunteering.
- What do you think is the best thing about volunteering?
Volunteering is a phenomenal journey between two people, it’s an act of humanity to bring people together. Volunteering is a way to bring people together for a ‘money can’t buy’ experience. All people should experience this kind of opportunity.
- Are more young people choosing to volunteer now than previously?
Looking at the Saltire Awards results the number of young people volunteering now is a lot less than in previous years. Angus used to have the highest rate of volunteering in Scotland. However, there is still a lot of enthusiasm out there: after a visit to Webster’s High School in Kirriemuir, I signed up 106 young people, who all gained a valuable volunteering experience.
- What do young people gain from Volunteering?
Research shows that young people gain confidence, a sense of purpose, pride, more friends in their lives and a greater influence. Like I said: a ‘money can’t buy experience’!
- How do people go about volunteering?
The best way to start volunteering in Angus is to contact Voluntary Action Angus. There are then three categories.
Category one is someone who is confident and knows what they would like to do but don’t have the right contacts: VAA would help by sharing contact details.
Category two is someone who lacks a bit of confidence and isn’t so sure. VAA would support this person a little more to develop in to the volunteer role and find the right match for them,
Category three is where a person has some additional support needs. There is a structured program in place to support them into a volunteer role that will work well for them.
- What do employers think about volunteering?
Some companies such as NHS wouldn’t function as they currently do without volunteers. In certain industry areas like care and advocacy there is a real volunteering culture, with employees working alongside community volunteers. For employers, having volunteers brings unique experiences, expands reach and encourages greater connection and empathy with local communities.
- What type of work has seen an increase in the number of volunteers?
There has been a bit of a decrease in charities looking for volunteers due to the lack of resources, with the biggest increase in the public sector, particularly in health.
- What types of volunteering is available right now?
Volunteering works best when you meet someone and get to know them and then match them to something that suits their needs and strengths. Success in volunteering is about wanting to volunteer and being engaged in what you do.
Volunteer Scotland has lots of information about opportunities and volunteering in general.
- What do you have planned for Volunteers week 2017?)
There is a variety of events all over Angus for volunteers week 2017, including;
food offered daily at the Voluntary Action Angus centre in Forfar, ‘It’s a knockout’ fun days all over Angus and a celebration BBQ for volunteers.