Volunteering policy and rurality in scotland
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‘Volunteering’, policy and rurality in Scotland. Divergence in public policy between England and Scotland: what does this mean for volunteering? November 2012 Dr Mike Woolvin [email protected] 0131 535 4186. Outline. ‘Volunteering’ and policy in Scotland

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‘Volunteering’, policy and rurality in Scotland

Divergence in public policy between England and Scotland: what does this mean for volunteering?

November 2012

Dr Mike Woolvin

[email protected]

0131 535 4186


Outline

  • ‘Volunteering’ and policy in Scotland

  • Linking to research (1): diversifying ‘volunteering’.

Linking to research (2): the role of rurality.

Conclusions: towards a socially and geographically sensitive approach?


1) Volunteers and policy in Scotland?2000 – 2009.

  • Active Communities Initiative (2000)

  • Bring about more positive attitudes at all levels towards volunteering and community action.

  • Locate volunteering and community action at the heart of policy and practice.

  • Broaden the range of people involved.

  • Increase the number of people involved.


1) Volunteers and policy in Scotland?2000 – 2009.

  • Volunteering Strategy (2004)

  • ‘almost every aspect of everyday life – the communities in which we live, the physical environment, our recreation and leisure activities, our places of work and worship, our schools and our hospitals – benefit from the input of volunteers. But volunteers themselves also benefit as a result of their actions. Volunteering can provide a real sense of personal fulfilment and achievement, the opportunity to make friends and to establish new contacts, and the reward of developing new skills and mastering new challenges’ .

  • Focussing on Project Scotland and young people.

  • Dismantling the barriers to volunteering and closing the opportunity gap.

  • Improving the volunteering experience.

  • Monitoring, evaluation and ongoing policy development.


1) Volunteers and policy in Scotland?2009 - date.

  • Community Empowerment Action Plan (2009)

  • ‘The confidence and resilience that grows when people work together in their communities is never more important than in challenging economic times and when facing major social problems’.

  • Community empowerment: ‘local people [coming] up with creative and successful solutions to local problems’.

  • Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill (Consulting…)

  • Public service reform ‘will not be possible without working with our partners in the public, private and third sectors – and with communities themselves – to unlock the knowledge, potential and abilities of all Scotland’s communities’.

  • ‘Strengthen opportunities for communities to take independent action to achieve their own goals and aspirations and ensure communities are able to have a greater role in determining how their public services are delivered’.


1) Volunteers and policy in Scotland?Broader context.

  • Enterprising Third Sector Action Plan

  • ‘Operate professionally, identifying markets or opportunities – for many organisations this will mean developing products and then competing for, and winning, contracts.

  • Demonstrate the unique contribution the

  • third sector provides.

  • Develop better third sector organisation

  • contributing to increased sustainable

  • economic growth and a more successful country’.

  • Public Service Reform: Christie Commission

  • Maximise ‘… scarce resources by utilising all available resources from the public, private and third sectors, individuals, groups and communities’.

  • National Performance Framework

  • Outcome 11: ‘We have strong, resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others’


1) Volunteers and policy in Scotland?Rhetoric

  • “But I know we have to start a bigger job, the job of re-imagining our society... Much has been said about the Big Society. I am more concerned by the Fair Society. And I am concerned that in the rush to adapt, good things will be lost”. Salmond 2010.

  • “[A] tale of two countries, of two very different visions of society and of the future… the country we create will be a very different one from the nation that is emerging down south… there is a harshness to the UK government's approach that goes against the grain of Scottish society”.

  • Salmond2011 cited in Barnes 2011.


2) Linking to research (1). Diversifying ‘volunteering’.

  • Formal

  • “Volunteering is the giving of time and energy through a third party… It is a choice undertaken of one’s own free will, and is not motivated primarily for financial gain or for a wage or salary.” Scottish Executive 2004

  • Informal

  • “Volunteering undertaken as an individual to help others” ... “helping a friend or a neighbour in a self managed way, e.g. helping them with some gardening or watching their home”

  • VDS 2004


2) Linking to research (1). Diversifying ‘volunteering’.

  • Formal volunteering, informal volunteering and deprivation.

  • ‘it is…important to recognise the diversity of types of volunteering that contribute to social inclusion, especially the more informal, community-based varieties. Failing to recognise this can mean that a considerable amount of volunteering by groups at risk of social exclusion can go unnoticed and may remain undervalued’ Ellis-Paine et al 2007

  • More characteristic?

  • Williams 2003

  • Are there particular barriers?

  • IVR 2004

  • ‘Ladders’ of involvement?

  • Home Office (1999) in Williams (2003)


2) Linking to research (1). Diversifying ‘volunteering’.


2) Linking to research (1). Diversifying ‘volunteering’.


3) Linking to research (2)The role of rurality

  • 94% of the landmass

  • 18% of the population

  • 1 million people


3) Linking to research (2)The role of rurality

Based on data from OSCR (2012) presented in Woolvin and Skerratt (2012) with thanks to Steven Thomson (SRUC).


3) Linking to research (2)The role of rurality

Based on data from OSCR (2012) presented in Woolvin and Skerratt (2012) with thanks to Steven Thomson (SRUC).


3) Linking to research (2)The role of rurality

  • Hurley et al (2008)

  • Scottish Government

  • (2012)


3) Linking to research (2)The role of rurality

SeeSee Rutherford and Harper (2012)

See also: www.sruc.ac.uk/rsif


4) Conclusions

  • The focus and scale of policy relating to ‘volunteering’ appears to have shifted over time.

  • How far are the results of this distinctive in Scotland?

  • Research suggests we need to be aware of the varying nature and extent of voluntary participation, and the influence this might have on capacity for, and sustainability of involvement.

  • Policy and governance which can better engage with the opportunities, and be sensitive to the challenges, of varying social and geographical contexts appears justified.


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