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What volunteers and organisations should know

See the relevant section below if:

  1. You want to volunteer to help: it can be a great way to maintain your own mental health while supporting the wellbeing of others.
  2. You are organising a local group or managing an organisation and either need more help from volunteers and/or need guidance on keeping everyone safe (safeguarding) or other volunteering issues.
  3. Need help for yourself or for family, friends or neighbours

If you want to volunteer:

Before considering volunteering ask yourself – am I well enough to volunteer?

Your safety and limiting the spread of the coronavirus being the main priority, we encourage you to adhere to NHS guidance on how best to avoid COVID-19, both in the work environment and at home.

Am I allowed to go out in order to support someone vulnerable in my community?

Yes. You can only volunteer to carry out tasks which involve leaving your home, if you are not required to be isolating and are not in any risk categories. Please check the latest advice at NHS Inform.

Being a good neighbour remains vitally important and you can still help even if you need to stay at home by signing up to provide telephone or online support, for example. This way you can help keep in contact and provide reassurance to those in need. It’s more important than ever that we stay connected, help where we can, and take time to look after ourselves and each other.

If you are well enough and wish to volunteer, these are the ways in which you may be able to help:

  • Search for opportunities across Glasgow - you can register for any opportunities that interest you, and can opt in to receive weekly updates on new opportunities.
  • Have a look specifically at Winter Wellbeing – Mental Health Support opportunities that are currently seeking volunteers. We will be adding opportunities shortly so please keep checking for updates and follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).
  • With winter upon us and the pandemic continuing to affect us all, please think about the ways you can safely help others – even if it’s just showing kindness and compassion to those who may be struggling. This winter is going to be a strange one but we know that kindness and community spirit will get us through it. We’re really pleased to be part of the Be Kind, Reach Out, Coorie In campaign. Let’s keep kindness alive this winter! #communityactionresponse
  • If you’ve been volunteering at any point during the pandemic and can share your experiences, please tell us about them by completing this short survey or by sharing stories on Volunteer Glasgow’s social media or emailing
  • Instead of our office drop-in service, we are offering a new appointment system. So if you would like to find out more about volunteering, appointments will be conducted either by telephone, Zoom or WhatsApp video – whatever suits you best. If you’d like to arrange an appointment or have any queries, please give us a call on 0141 226 3431 (option 2) or email

For groups and organisations:

Need more volunteers? Are you registered with Volunteer Glasgow?

  • Once registered, you can advertise volunteering opportunities to thousands of people for free via our digital volunteering platform: sign up at
  • The number of people wanting to support the COVID-19 response has been incredible with overall volunteering rates increasing from 45% to 74% due to the rise in informal volunteering and mutual aid participation. More info on this is available from Volunteer Scotland

Need advice about COVID-19 volunteer recruitment and/or management issues?

Maybe you need to think about PVG requirements and risk assessment processes when supporting vulnerable people in these unprecedented times? Or you need to design entirely new roles in response to COVID-19? You may need to put new volunteer management processes in place due to staff working at home? These are just some of the issues that organisations have been grappling with...

The team is here to help and we can be contacted on or on 0141 226 3431 (choose option 3) (Mon-Thu 9.30-4.30; Fri 9.30-3.30). The team is working from home but will still be supporting organisations to advertise roles as usual and will be prioritising roles directly related to COVID-19.

Need help for yourself or for family, friends or neighbours?

  • Search for the services you need from around 500 of the city’s third sector organisations (national and local charities, social enterprises, community and faith based organisations) at or contact GlasgowHelps by Text: 07451 289255
  • Advice and guidance from the NHS during COVID-19 is available at
  • And there is specific NHS information on staying active and well at

All the best and stay safe,

Everyone at Volunteer Glasgow

Volunteer Glasgow is recruiting for its virtual Smarter Volunteer Manager Programme.

When you engage with volunteers, it’s easy to feel the pressure, like you’re always, simultaneously, wearing several hats. This training programme, based on Volunteer Glasgow’s Dynamic Model, will help you take the stress out of your day.

This programme is for anyone who engages with volunteers, including . . .

  • Managers of volunteering programmes
  • Personnel with responsibility for day-to-day supervision of people volunteering
  • Strategic lead officers
  • Members of governing bodies

Currently delivered entirely online using Zoom, the programme runs over six, 3 hour sessions spaced over three weeks.

The SVM programme is designed to be Peer Led/ Informal learning environment facilitated by Volunteer Glasgow Staff. Therefore, the Training is:

  • Learner driven and self-directed.
  • A relaxed experience for participants.
  • Expands participants’ reference and knowledge points on engaging volunteers.

Offering a fusion of mentoring, peer discussion, small-group exercises and individual study, there will be opportunities created between sessions for you to explore how far the learning can be applied.

Our Organisation Support Team will be delivering the first of our newly revised, entirely online programme to be delivered between these dates:

Introduction Session: Thursday 6th May, 10am - 1.00pm
SVM Session 1: Tuesday 11th May, 10am - 1.00pm
SVM Session 2: Thursday 13th May, 10am - 1.00pm
SVM Session 3: Monday 17th May, 10am - 1.00pm
SVM Session 4: Thursday 20th May, 10am - 1.00pm
SVM Session 5: Tuesday 25th May, 10am - 1.00pm

To read more and to book a place (A Registration of Interest form is at the bottom of the page) click on this link HERE. You will then receive further information from the Programme Facilitator.

Places are first come first serve and are limited to 6 places. The closing date for booking for this SVM Programme is 12 noon Friday 30th April 2021. Candidates booking over the 6 limit will have first refusal on the next SVM dates (TBC).

Easter Bank Holiday Closure

Volunteer Glasgow will be closed for Easter holidays from Friday 2nd April and will re-open on Tuesday 6th April. If you wish to enquire about volunteering  please email:

If you are a not for profit organisation seeking volunteers please email:

HAPPY EASTER from everyone at Volunteer Glasgow

Information for service users, members, partners and stakeholders

Like many other third sector organisations in the city, Volunteer Glasgow had applied to Glasgow City Council’s Communities Fund.  We received a positive decision in early September but for a much reduced grant award from 1st October.

We wanted to provide an update to you on the measures we’ve put in place to avoid any immediate reductions in services and to give you some news about our:

  • Games for Good: Glasgow Build Off.
  • Imminent move to new offices.
  • Annual General Meeting.
  • Securing a shared vision for Glasgow’s future.
  • Winter: getting through it together.

Volunteering Services

Although we have put some mitigations in place until March, the reduced Council grant support means we need to continue to work hard to secure cost savings and additional income from April to avoid reductions in some services.

In particular, we are looking for your support to ensure we can work with partners on programmes that make volunteering more accessible and inclusive, enabling and empowering people to get involved and overcome barriers. Thank you to everyone that has supported our work so far.

Befriending and Mentoring Services

Although the Council formerly provided grant support for some of these services, we have successfully secured alternative grants and put in place additional funding and savings measures to make sure we can carry on providing these community-based support services unaffected.  However, we still need additional support from next April.

We would like to thank everyone involved in helping to put funds in place: it has been a tremendous effort, enabling our volunteer and staff teams to help “get it right for every child” across the city and to sustain our services for older adults in Drumchapel.

Games for Good

From tomorrow we’re co-hosting a Glasgow build-a-thon with R-CADE on MINECRAFT.  Please share this with all the gamers you know: get into or watch a Games for Good session to help raise funds

New office

We’re moving next week partly to reduce our costs and to be able to offer our services in a covid19-free future from accessible, city centre premises at Brunswick House, 51 Wilson Street, G1 1UZ.  Our other contact details won’t change but there may be some disruption to our 0141 226 3431 phones for a few days between 2nd – 5th December.

Save the Date

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on 27th January at 6pm.  More details to follow soon but if you’re not already a member (which is free for eligible individuals and organisations), you can sign up here to have your say: become a member of Volunteer Glasgow

A shared vision for Community Empowerment and Volunteering

If you want Glasgow to recover from the pandemic in ways that avoid returning to a world full of poverty and injustice, please have a look at the TSI Scotland Network’s Manifesto for Change to see if you share our vision.

And thank you to everyone that has already engaged in the process of reviewing Glasgow’s Volunteering Strategy over the past few weeks.  Please look out for the next steps in that review to ensure you can shape how the city uses available resources in ways which maximise our chances of making Glasgow a place, “where everyone can volunteer, more often and throughout their lives”.

Winter: getting through it together

Look out for a range of ideas, opportunities and support information from Wednesday next week.  Subscribe to our email feeds, follow us on social media or register for the latest volunteering opportunities.

Get in touch or Lend a Hand:

  • If you, or anyone you are supporting, wish to find out more about volunteering and/or identifying appropriate opportunities please get in touch with our Engagement & Inclusion team on
  • If you represent a group or organisation looking for help to recruit and manage volunteers then our Organisation Support team will be happy to help so please get in touch on
  • To find out more about Volunteer Glasgow’s Befriending and Mentoring Services get in touch with the team on
  • If you use and care about the services Volunteer Glasgow provides, a donation can make a big difference. You can help us continue our work by visiting

Best wishes from everyone at Volunteer Glasgow

Information for service users, members, partners and stakeholders

As many of you know, Volunteer Glasgow currently receives significant grant support from Glasgow City Council for many of its Befriending, Mentoring and Volunteering support services.

The current grant funding ends on 30th September 2020 and (at the time of writing) decisions on grant awards under the Council’s new Communities Fund programme are still to be made. Like many other third sector organisations in the city, we are expecting delayed decisions from the Council on Thursday 3rd September.

Our application to the Fund represents a reduction to 76% of our existing grant award budgets in order to comply with the new Fund’s eligibility criteria and guidance.

Given the short notice remaining and the multiple budget scenarios for which we need to continue planning until we receive a decision from the Council, we wanted to provide an update to you on the possible implications for our existing 65,000 or more service users and beneficiaries, partners and stakeholders.

Befriending and Mentoring Services

These will not be affected by Council decisions and all services will continue uninterrupted with the exception of the North East Glasgow Young Persons Befriending Service (YPBS) which has confirmed grant funding in place from the National Lottery Communities Fund and BBC Children in Need until 22nd January 2021.  We are working to secure further support for North East YPBS and hope to have an update very soon.

Although the Council currently provides £105,986 p.a. in grant support for some of these services until 30th September, we have successfully secured alternative grants and put in place additional savings measures and fundraising plans from October to make sure we can carry on providing these community-based support services.

We would like to thank everyone involved in helping to put alternative funds in place: it has been a tremendous effort, enabling our volunteer and staff teams to contribute to “getting it right for every child” across the city and to sustain our services for older adults in Drumchapel.

If you have any queries about our Befriending and Mentoring Services, please email or call 0141 226 2571

Volunteering Services

Current grant funding from the Council provides 68% of the budget for us to serve the whole of Glasgow with a number of volunteering support and development services which help make the city more inclusive, fairer, and healthier.

We understand that the Council may make partial awards and consequently we are planning for multiple budget scenarios and seeking your views.

Although we have been working to secure cost savings and additional income, if our grant application is unsuccessful or we receive a partial award, reductions in some or all of the following services and programmes are almost certain:

  • Direct support to over 2,000 people each year enabling them to get involved in volunteering opportunities. This includes much-needed assistance to overcome barriers to participation, like:
    • Our supported volunteering programmes offering group taster sessions and/or SQA Employability Awards.
    • Telephone, email and face-to-face guidance to help people identify suitable opportunities.
  • Partnership work locally and nationally with equalities organisations, policy-makers and others to make volunteering more inclusive.
  • Support to over 40 public and third sector organisations each year to achieve the Glasgow Volunteering Charter and/or the Volunteer Friendly Award.
  • Training, networking and peer support opportunities for over 120 volunteer managers each year.
  • Work with the Council’s Education Services to further develop and enhance volunteering opportunities for young people, parents and others.

Much of our remaining budget is provided by the Scottish Government through its grant support for the city’s Third Sector Interface partners.  As a result, we will be able to continue providing and developing:

  • Digital services that help more than 65,000 users to (a) advertise volunteering opportunities on behalf of hundreds of public and third sector organisations and groups at no cost to them, (b) connect people interested in those opportunities and (c) provide online information and guidance to both groups and individuals.
  • Saltire Awards for 2,000 young people (aged 12-25) each year in recognition of their volunteering.
  • Advice and guidance to organisations that signpost, encourage and support people into volunteering to achieve a range of health and employability benefits.

However, these remaining services may still need to be further redesigned and/or reduced to allow for local Glasgow priorities.

As you might expect, the staff team is currently working with Volunteer Glasgow’s Board to minimise or avoid any redundancies should the Council decide to reduce grant support.  Up to 18 of our 24 members of staff may be affected.

If you have any questions or views on these proposals, please email

If you use and care about the services Volunteer Glasgow provides, a donation can make a big difference. You can help us continue our work by visiting

Volunteer Glasgow's Organisations Support Team are ready to support you with your volunteering needs. Whether you are starting out with involving volunteers, looking to develop your volunteering programme or just keen to connect with the volunteers you need. Over the last few months we have developed workshops, resources and events to provide them online so they are accessible to you.

Advertise for free!

Engage with the Volunteers you need. Create and manage your opportunities with your own organisation's profile with:

We will share your volunteering opportunities via Social Media and with referral organisations. Reach a wider audience - last year we had 73,000 visitors to our website. We have over 10,000 people registered to volunteer and more are on the search every day.

For any volunteer involving queries email:

Learn how to do it effectively:

Attend one of our regular online workshops – Live zoom session with a small group of peer volunteer managers. We will provide full demonstration of the system with plenty of valuable advice on making the opportunity advert the best it can be. We also encourage your questions so we can tailor the session to suit.

Next workshop dates:

24th February 2021, 10-12

25th March 2021, 10-12

20th April 2021, 10-12

20th May 2021, 10-12

Watch a series of short video tutorials for an in depth, step by step guide on using our advertising system. Again with plenty of advice on improving your adverts ensuring they are inclusive and productive for you.

Click here to open a new tab on Youtube with the full playlist.

Use our handy visual guidance documents for a quick reference. It might be just what you need to help you progress.

Click here to download zip file of Digital Advertising Visual Guides (PDFs)

Develop your volunteering programme

And build capacity with the Smarter Volunteer Managers Training Programme – You will learn and embed a new method which could make a world of difference, making your role easier and more effective.

The course will be hosted on zoom with 6 sessions that are two and half hours in length spaced over 3 weeks.

Click here to read further on the Volunteer Glasgow website and complete online form to book.

Email: to discuss and get on a waiting list for the next round.

Become a signatory to Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter

Use the available support services and work towards one or more of the Charter Pledges.

As a Charter signatory, you will commit your organisation to…

  • Create and expand appropriate opportunities for volunteering within your organisation,
  • Ensure your opportunities are accessible to all sections of the community, and that your volunteering workforce reflects the demographics of the city, and/or:
  • Facilitate and enable your staff, members and/or service users to undertake volunteering activity which improves their wellbeing and benefits Glasgow.

Click here to view the Charter information pages on the Volunteer Glasgow Website.

Email: to discuss

Connect with Volunteer Managers of Glasgow

(National and local level) at our popular online networking events hosted on zoom.

Next dates TBC

Recognise and celebrate young people

...(aged 12-25) who are volunteering with the Scottish Government’s Saltire Awards.

Click here for further information on Volunteer Glasgow’s Website.

Email: with any queries.

[Published 23 July 2020. We will update this guidance as we find information that is useful to share but if you have already wrestled with issues around returning to offices/centres, with volunteers in mind, please do share it with us so we can pass on good practice or tips.]

As organisations are starting to re-open premises after lockdown, there are many questions/issues to consider regarding safeguarding advice. SVCO's guidance does a great job of covering a lot of the bases, please click here on the link to this guidance:

Volunteering Matters have useful Youtube videos with guidance, an example risk assessment template and re-occupying buildings checklist:

Everyone’s premises will be different and require their own risk assessment process. Here are some of the measures that Volunteer Glasgow plan to implement as soon as non-essential offices are able to open again, which could provide useful ideas for your own context:

  • A rota for staff and volunteers to limit numbers in the office (continued working at home)
  • Ensuring 2m distancing (desk spacing to be taken into account)
  • Perspex screens for reception and 1-2-1 appointments
  • Cleaning work areas between uses
  • Cleaning door handles regularly
  • Not using the air conditioning unit
  • One person at a time in our small kitchen
  • A lock on external door leading to the toilets so that there is not multiple people in this small area

For further information on how best to prevent infection and spread then please continue to monitor the latest NHS Guidance by clicking on the following link; NHS guidance

The team at Volunteer Glasgow are here to help and we can be contacted on As we all adapt to these new circumstances and needs we can’t always promise an instant answer to your questions but we’ll work with you and other relevant organisations to get the advice and guidance you need.

Volunteer Glasgow had originally put out a call for Registrations of Interest for Glasgow's Volunteering Charter (GVC) in May this year. With hindsight we understand that many Glasgow Third Sector Organisations may not have been in a position to make initial Registrations of Interest for Glasgow's Volunteering Charter at the time due to Covid-19 protocols. So, we're seeking again, initial Registrations of Interest from Glasgow's Third Sector Organisations who wish to take the initial steps to Charter Signatory stage now that Covid-19 protocols are lessening. Logo for Glasgow's Volunteering Charter

Volunteer Glasgow, under the proviso of Glasgow’s Volunteering Strategy (GVS) 2019-24 (a Glasgow Community Planning initiative) is re-launching Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter to Glasgow based Third Sector Volunteering Involving Organisations (V.I.Os) who wish to initially become Signatories to the following Charter Pledges:

  • Create and expand appropriate opportunities for volunteering within their organisation and/or
  • Ensure your opportunities are accessible to all sections of the community, and that your volunteering workforce reflects the demographics of the city and/or
  • Facilitate and enable your staff, members and/or service users to undertake volunteering activity which improves their wellbeing and benefits Glasgow

Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter is the vehicle to addressing the increasing gap between the number of people interested in volunteering and the number of inclusive volunteering opportunities within Glasgow.

Glasgow has the potential to tap into the City resource of people willing to offer their skills and time for free in a diverse range of activities across the city.

Glasgow needs to develop more volunteering opportunities to ensure the overall rate of adult volunteering increases. Also, the need to ensure these opportunities are accessible to all and to monitor this in terms of rates of volunteers in equalities groups as well as disadvantaged geographical areas.

Volunteer Glasgow is committed to Glasgow as a city that values and supports volunteering by recognising its contribution to personal, community and economic development. Realising this vision means working to develop the high quality, inclusive and varied opportunities which will allow all Glaswegians to share in the wellbeing benefits of volunteering.

What are the benefits to organisations of signing the Charter?

Providing more volunteering opportunities and making them more inclusive can benefit your organisation in several ways:

  • People who are volunteering for your organisation are donating their time, skills, experience, and energy: you can do much more for your service users, members, and wider beneficiaries by harnessing this support.
  • By signing the Charter, you are making a public commitment to our shared objectives.
  • Once you have achieved the Charter Mark, you can boost your organisation’s profile, receiving recognition from key partners for your contribution to the city’s shared objectives.
  • In signing up to the charter you are joining a host of likeminded organisations in Glasgow that recognise the value in both offering volunteering opportunities and allowing staff to volunteer.

If your organisation wishes to initially progress a little in the Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter process, it is important that the information on our Charter web pages have been fully considered prior to registering interest (in link below). You can view the pages in this link.

Please also consider the Section Pages links in the right hand pane of the web page.

NB: The Charter Pledges, FAQs, Charter Commitment and Phase 1 (for previous organisations who have become signatories and achieved the Charter Mark- *asterisk) sections are of particular importance.

As part of Volunteer Glasgow’s initial engagement with Partners who wish to make (click on link) initial signatories commitment towards achieving The Charter Mark, we are initiating a mapping exercise to establish which Glasgow based Third Sector Partners can promote a formal commitment to achieving The Volunteering Charter Mark.Representatives of all the 5 Charter Mark recipient organisations with their certificates

This initial engagement with your organisation will include an outline Organisational Needs scoping exercise to identify potential knowledge, skills, motivations, processes & resource gaps that may be highlighted in your organisation towards achieving The Charter Mark.

Your Glasgow based Third Sector Organisation can initially register interest in becoming a signatory by completing the pro-forma in this link. 

In completing the Registration of Interest our Charter Support and Training Coordinator (Derek Craig) will proceed to make further contact with the named person who completed the Pro-forma to assist the mapping exercise in providing guidance on what potential organisational issues and aspects should be considered prior to becoming initial signatories.

For a wider impact picture of how Glasgow's Volunteering Charter in its first round in 2016, has impacted Third Sector Organisations please view the independent Glasgow Centre for Population Health's Evaluation of Glasgow's Volunteering Charter.

Volunteer Glasgow looks forward to working in partnership with your organisation in assisting it towards achieving the Glasgow’s Volunteering Charter Mark.


I think it was kismet that led me to Sumayya and Kaleyard. I was really just wasting time on Instagram and saw a post about Edinburgh and Sumayya’s top things to do. I was intrigued by the little bit of her story they told and looked her up. That was all it took. Within five minutes of discovering that she existed, I sent an email to see if there were any volunteer options available. I wanted to experience Kaleyard and see this very different social enterprise for myself. Lucky for me, there were a few volunteer spots open across several classes and I signed up for them all.

I’m not sure I really had any idea what I was getting myself into! I knew the Kaleyard was in its early stages, and I thought I understood the mission of bringing access to good food and community to those that might not otherwise find it. But it was an entirely different thing to see the smiles on the faces of class participants on my first day. The room was filled with elderly women most of whom didn’t have an interest in food or cooking, or they were just plain tired of cooking. They’d done enough of that in their lives and seemed a little dubious at first. But as I listened to and watched Sumayya interact with these women and she got them chopping and sautéing, I saw a sea change sweep the room. One of the women was talking about how she had never used a red pepper before in her life. Another was won over to actually liking cilantro after claiming a distaste. And yet another participant found herself asking for seconds on a dish, surprising everyone in the room who knew her to be an incredibly light eater.

I would see this same sense of community and shift in energy in the room each time I volunteered. I would wind my way in and out of the participants, gathering their compostables, washing knives, cutting boards, and anything else I could get my hands on. It felt like I was providing a needed service. I was allowing Sumayya to focus on the food and the people while I focused on ensuring people had what they needed to be successful. 

One of my favourite parts of each class was when the students sat down at the end and collectively shared the dishes they had prepared. There was a lot of talk, laughter and head nods as people dove into their dishes. Most of which they had never tried before that day. I think that is the aim of Kaleyard, creating community around great food. I will definitely try to volunteer with them again and would love to be a part of their continued success.

As a human nutrition & dietetic student from Glasgow Caledonian University, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity involving food in the community. With experience as an NHS ward volunteer for over three years assisting at patient mealtimes and promoting eating well, I was keen to build capabilities outwith the healthcare environment. I was first attracted to working with Kaleyard after seeing their strap line Cook – Eat – Share, which embodies the social aspect of food from the kitchen to the table.  The ability to appreciate the different cultural foods available and how to prepare these dishes is invaluable knowledge adding to my studies.

At Kaleyard, I volunteered at their Masterclass events, where attendees participate in hands-on cooking of authentic dishes from around the world, including Spanish Vegan, Scottish Pakistani, and Vietnamese Street food.  My role involved setting up the kitchen, arranging ingredients, welcoming participants, clearing work areas throughout the event, and assisting in making it an enjoyable experience.   Up and coming shifts include community events, Christmas Baking, and a Burns Day Special in the New Year.

Kaleyard, as a non-profit cook school, embodies the joy of cooking with the development of skills to encourage people in the community to add variety to their food choices and improve the quality of the dishes featuring in their diet.   The concept of Kaleyard as a sustainable kitchen minimising food waste and maximising all aspects of the food we eat is particularly important to the current climate situation.   I look forward to working with Sumayya Usmani, Kaleyard's founder, other volunteers and guest chefs at future events.

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