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5 Dec 2018

Investing in our Volunteers

Written by Amy Drysdale
A large group of people stand in a room in front of a plain wall, smiling at the camera. In the front row a man hold a large round placard that says: Investing in Volunteers with a big orange tick. Next to him, a woman holds a large omega-shaped sign, that reads: National Trust for Scotland | Volunteers welcome.
The Trust’s National Volunteer Management Forum celebrating our Investing in Volunteers success
It would be impossible for us to deliver our strategy for protecting Scotland’s heritage without our fantastic people, including our dedicated army of volunteers.

Every year, around 3,000 individuals get involved in supporting our work – whether that’s inside our historic houses, outdoors in gardens and the countryside, or providing research and administrative support in our offices or from home.

Today, there’s a lot of competition for people’s time, so to both encourage new volunteers to join and to make sure we retain our current fantastic volunteers, we need to make sure that we’re offering the best volunteer experiences we possibly can. From recruitment to day-to-day support to the ways we say ‘thank you’, we want the Trust to remain an organisation that’s recognised for valuing its volunteers and their work.

Investing in Volunteers is the national accreditation scheme for volunteer management in the UK, and the Trust has held this award since 2009. It’s regularly re-assessed to make sure that we continue to live up to the nine standards – and we’re delighted to announce that the United Kingdom Volunteering Forum has awarded us this accreditation for another three years.

The award assessment looked in depth at how we manage our volunteers, and included interviews with volunteers, employees and trustees to get the best understanding of our strategy, policies and processes, and how these work in practice. Throughout these interviews, the assessor was impressed with the dedication, enthusiasm and passion shown by all of our people, and the recognition of how important volunteering is to the Trust.

Five people stand in a row in the drawing room of the Georgian House. They hold wine glasses. At the centre, a young woman holds a round placard with the Investing in Volunteers logo.
Georgian House volunteers celebrating at their annual Volunteer thank-you event

We don’t intend to rest on our laurels though, so over the next three years, we’ll keep developing our volunteer programme by reaching out to people who may never have considered volunteering before. One way we’ll do this is by offering volunteers the chance to undertake a qualification while volunteering with us – the Scottish Qualifications Authority Award in Volunteering Skills – with financial support from the Museums Galleries Scotland Vocational Pathways Fund. Programmes such as this, along with other exciting projects in development, are keeping us focused on our goal of becoming the ‘go to’ place for volunteering opportunities in Scotland. We really want to retain this prestigious award in three years’ time!

Volunteering is a fantastic way to get involved with the Trust, so if you haven’t yet checked out what’s on offer in your local area, have a look at our website and find out how you can play your part in protecting Scotland’s heritage for the future.

The National Trust for Scotland works every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this for the Love of Scotland.

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