Politicians give their time to promote Volunteers’ Week 2011


Local politicians have once again taken up the challenge to give up their free time and help out at voluntary organisations throughout Wigtownshire in support of Volunteers’ Week which ran recently.

The volunteering challenges were laid down by Volunteer Action, the local Volunteer Centre dedicated to promoting, supporting and developing quality experiences of volunteering for individuals and communities throughout Dumfries and Galloway.

Volunteers’ Week, now in its 27th year, is a national celebration of volunteers and volunteering and provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of volunteers and thank them for the vital contribution they make to community life.

Russell Brown MP, joined young members of Newton Stewart ARC for band rehearsal and spoke positively about his time spent with the young people and of the staff and members of the ARC. Cllr John Dougan volunteered at Stranraer Cancer Drop In Centre and had this to say about his time spent there.

He said: “I enjoyed my time at the drop in last week, I want to really say that I have followed the drop in for many years now and continue to really respect its work. During my time there last week I was able to hear first hand from people who are at different stages of treatment for cancer, I also met the highly motivated staff and some of the many volunteers who help provide refreshments for visitors to the drop–in”.

Councillor Willie Scobie paid a visit to Stranraer YMCA where he happily chatted to the young people who use the Kids Space Youth Group. Willie also had the pleasure of presenting the volunteers with MV Awards, Volunteers Week certificates and a special certificate for one volunteer, John Gibson for his contribution and dedication to the group. Willie is a supporter of the YMCA and the opportunity it provides for young people in the area. He praised the work of the staff and volunteers and commented that without the valuable input of dedicated volunteers the youth group would not be able to run.

Alex Fergusson MSP and Councillor Iain Dick have also agreed to take part in VIP volunteering.

Viv Smith, Wigtownshire Project Worker with Volunteer Action, explains: “All of the VIP Volunteers who were approached were delighted to take part. It’s a great way for them to get real hands on experience of volunteering, while also supporting Volunteers Week and Volunteers.

“VIP volunteering helps to promote the huge range of volunteering opportunities available throughout the region and, equally important, to highlight the tremendous amount of quality volunteering that goes on. Volunteering can have a positive impact on your life. Depending upon the type of volunteering undertaken, it can improve health, provide an active social life or present new challenges. It can also improve career prospects and is a great way to develop new skills, build confidence and demonstrate drive and initiative.”

For more information about volunteering in Wigtownshire, please contact Viv at 8 Castle Street, tel 01776 707220 or email: wigtownshire@volunteeraction.co.uk