A new partnership has been announced that will help the thousands of Scots that signed up to the Scotland Cares campaign to get involved with local efforts to bolster town centres and support vulnerable communities. The initiative will be delivered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Volunteer Scotland.

More than 45,000 Scots have signed up to the Scotland Cares call for COVID-19 volunteers. Along with the many existing volunteers new people from all places and backgrounds have come forward to help in the emergency and recovery. The scheme seeks to raise awareness of opportunities for people to volunteer in their own town centres and local communities, if other opportunities are not appropriate for them or available. 

Seventy per cent of Scots reside in a town or village, so the initiative is designed to make it easy for people to give up their time to support local initiatives already underway to bolster the resilience and recovery of Scottish town centres after COVID-19. 

The Scottish Government, through Scotland’s Towns Partnership, has just invested £1m into a COVID-19 Business Improvement District Resilience Fund. The fund will allow BIDs across the country to deliver innovative hyper local infrastructure; food and medical delivery, schemes to support key staff and the NHS, digital and social media platforms, pay-now-get-later, local currencies and gift cards and virtual high streets.

Volunteers and groups can find out if there is a local BID, development trust or community council in their area and get in touch through the Scotland’s Improvement Districts website.

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Programme Director for Scotland's Improvement Districts, said:

“Our towns need to build resilience before moving into the recovery and restructuring phases, so we’re delighted to partner with Volunteer Scotland to offer people the opportunity to volunteer and join that effort. With funding from the Scottish Government, people will be able to work with Business Improvement Districts across the country to lend a helping hand when our towns need it most.

“Our hope is that, post-crisis, we can continue with these local citizen groups to deal with other challenges, such as the climate emergency, through things like planting trees, recycling and reducing waste, adopting planter beds, establishing pop-up parks, urban greenspace, allotments, rainwater gardens and flood infrastructure."

George Thomson, CEO of Volunteer Scotland, said:

“We have all witnessed the community spirit of the country and the wonderful positive response to our call to action. This partnership will provide a wide range of new and vital opportunities for volunteer participation, for the new volunteers and existing volunteers, and another route to support local economies and communities at a time when we all want to contribute. 

“Once we’re over the crisis there is a possibility to create a participative society that changes things for the better.”

ENDS

Notes

  1. For media enquiries, contact Gareth Brown (gareth@messagematters.co.uk / 07907 520571)
  2. More information about the scheme and how to get involved can be found here.
  3. Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) is the national body for Scotland’s town centres and provides policy expertise, advice and best practice guidance to support a wide range of projects across Scotland.
  4. More information about Volunteer Scotland can be found here.
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