Thousands of charities and voluntary organisations are gearing up to celebrate the vital contribution made by volunteers across the length and breadth of Scotland.

From 1-7 June 2017, Volunteers’ Week Scotland will see a huge range of events take place in communities all over the country, from small awards ceremonies to large celebratory gatherings.

This year’s campaign theme highlights volunteers and volunteering as the golden thread running through Scotland’s communities. Volunteers are vital to the strength and vitality of Scottish society, with their work valued at £2.6 billion every year. Recent research found that Scotland’s young people are particularly engaged, with participation now at 52% – nearly double the adult figure of 27%.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, Angela Constance is supporting the campaign: “Volunteers Week Scotland provides a fantastic opportunity to thank everybody who gives up their time so selflessly to volunteer for good causes right across the country. Scotland’s volunteers make a vital contribution to our society, making ours a better and more inclusive country. I would encourage anybody thinking about volunteering to find out more and to get involved.”

With so many Scots volunteering, there are a huge range of achievements to celebrate. Whether working to improve the local environment, spending time with people who need help, or providing other kinds of essential services and support, the efforts made by volunteers make an invaluable difference to the lives of people and communities everywhere.

As well as celebrating the work of existing volunteers, Volunteers’ Week Scotland offers a new opportunity for organisations to promote the benefits that volunteering can bring. The week can also help highlight how people can access opportunities and overcome any barriers they might be facing.

Commenting on the celebrations Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland, George Thomson, said; ‘In a post-truth world there is one thing we can trust. That people volunteering in Scotland are uplifting. They are creating community solidarity and friendship. Volunteers’ Week is a good time to celebrate their honesty and humanity.”

The Scottish Volunteering Forum, which includes charities such as Volunteer Scotland, Voluntary Action Scotland, Shelter Scotland, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and Befriending Networks, is encouraging as many organisations as possible to take part.

Forum Chairman Paul Okroj said, “Volunteers’ Week Scotland offers a rare opportunity to mark the huge difference made by volunteers all over the country, and to catch the attention of potential new recruits. Don’t miss out on what’s set to be an inspirational week.”

Organisations interested in taking part are being encouraged to visit the #VolunteersWeekScot section of the Volunteer Scotland website to access a range of promotional resources, social media toolkits and suggestions for activities.