We'd like to introduce you to the Scottish Government's recently published 'Volunteering for All' framework document.
FVA welcomes this publication; a national strategy document which sets out our nation's ambitions and provides a framework for underpinning how we increase participation and place volunteering at the heart of policy and planning both at a local and national level.
We like the sliding scale of formality this framework provides (page 19). We're used to the formal and informal definitions, but to broaden it out and introduce 'neighbourliness' and 'semi-formal' are useful additions. We're never going to accurately count acts of kindness in the community, and nor should we; much of what makes active citizenship so wonderful is the spontaneous and responsive nature of it.
While 'Volunteering for All' stops short of setting ambitious targets for increasing participation, we believe that here in Fife we can develop our own strategy, which will set out a local framework to ensure that volunteering continues to thrive and be recognised, both at an individual level and when planning resources, services and policy. Keep reading for more information on how to contribute to this.
At a local level here in Fife, volunteering features in several local strategic planning documents. The recently published CLD plan for Fife contains a number of actions and expected outcomes associated with volunteering, including the improved capturing/collating of both quantitative and qualitative information (keep reading to see how we'll address this in Fife).
The Fairness Matters report, which was published at the end of 2015 set an ambitious target of increasing volunteering participation in Fife by over 35,000 by 2030, which would bring it into the top 5 performing local authorities in Scotland.
Volunteering underpins many of the actions and anticipated changes underlined in the Plan for Fife (also known as the Local Outcome Improvement Plan). These key documents shape much of how we deliver community planning in Fife. FVA plays a crucial role in ensuring that the third sector is not only considered but consulted and meaningfully involved in the delivery of services. Volunteering for All adds extra weight to the importance of volunteers and volunteering in improving communities.
We must not take for granted the contribution Fife's volunteers make - whether it's the many thousands providing help to youth/sport and community clubs or those true unsung heroes serving on the boards of our 3000+ charities here in Fife. The Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Communities, Aileen Campbell, states that she'd like volunteering to become a social norm. We endorse this view and believe everyone has something to offer, and we as Fife-based organisations have a civic and moral obligation to ensure that our communities are safe, resilient and sustainable places to live, work and study.