What is Volunteering? 

Volunteering is an unpaid contribution of someone’s time and skills to help other people directly; their wider community or society; and/or the natural environment. Volunteering is not a substitute for a paid role but can complement paid roles. 

Volunteering can be very informal, for example a person shopping for an elderly neighbour on their own initiative.

Volunteering can also be a formal role in an organisation. Formal volunteer roles are usually supported with training and guidance. Travel and other legitimate expenses are usually paid.

Most volunteers are over 18 but young people under 18 can also volunteer. In fact, there is no legal restriction on the age of a young volunteer. However, organisations involving volunteers under 16 need to put appropriate supporting arrangements in place. More information about involving volunteers under 16 is available here.

The annual Scottish Household Survey asks the public if they volunteer and the most recent figures indicate that around 27% of our population volunteer either informally or formally.  A similar percentage also volunteer in the different age groups of 16-34; 35-59; and over 60. These national figures are similair for North Lanarkshire.

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