In 1962 we placed a volunteer in Glasgow, supporting young people in need.  He became our first Full-Time Volunteer and so Scotland became the birthplace of one of our flagship programmes.

Since then, Volunteering Matters have established a number of high impact volunteering programmes across Scotland: from befriending isolated and vulnerable young people, to keeping older and retired people engaged in their communities through volunteering.  Every year around 7,000 people volunteer with us in Scotland – reaching around 6,000 beneficiaries.

Through volunteering, we have helped to reduce inequalities and social isolation to build a stronger, more inclusive Scotland. Take a look below to see what we’re doing across the country: find out more about our programmes and projects, hear the voices of our volunteers themselves, and see how you too can get involved.



Action Earth Scotland

Action Earth – Scotland

Run alongside Scottish Natural Heritage, our Action Earth programme empowers people to take action to improve their local environment through volunteering.

Employee Volunteering

Our Employee Volunteering team has over 24 years’ experience of providing tailor-made service support to employers developing their own corporate volunteering and business volunteering programmes.

Full-time Volunteering

Full-time volunteering is a unique opportunity for people aged between 18 and 35 to undertake the challenge of living away from home for 6-12 months.
Get Out Get Active GOGA

Get Out Get Active

Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is a UK wide programme, funded by Spirit of 2012 that aims to encourage disabled and non-disabled people to take part in and enjoy activity together.

Handyperson Project

Our handyperson service runs in Stirling and Clackmannanshire and involves older volunteers who complete small and minor maintenance jobs that some older people cannot do by themselves.

Help at Hand Befriending

The Help at Hand Befriending Projects aim is to help reduce loneliness and to provide older people in the Forth Valley region support and companionship on a regular basis.

Learn Together Scotland

Learn Together Scotland hopes to close the attainment gap by involving older volunteers from the local community in Primary and Secondary schools in Edinburgh and Midlothian.

RSVP Knitting

Our knitting groups, are growing increasingly popular with over 5,000 social action knitters across the UK producing in excess of 50 big bin-bags worth of knitted goods per month
reading in schools volunteering

RSVP Reading in Schools

Our Retired and Senior Volunteer Programmes (RSVP) offer volunteering in local schools across the UK, for people aged 50+, where they can support pupils with with reading, maths or specialized subjects.
RSVP Scotland volunteers group shot

RSVP Scotland

RSVP Scotland encourages and assists older people to use their skills and experience to volunteer and keep active in retirement.

Rural Wisdom

A partnership project focussed on tackling rural isolation among older people, developed by Outside the Box, Volunteering Matters Cymru and the National Development Team for Inclusion.

Help at Hand : Katie’s Story

"Loneliness is something that can affect anyone at any time, and it is projects like this that are so important in helping to stop it."

Making Time – Join In

Join In’s latest ground-breaking research looks at how behavioural science can persuade more people to give their time and volunteer, with a focus on sport.

CSV – 50 Years in Scotland

CSV’s Action Earth campaign enables people to become engaged in practical activities that improve and protect Scotland’s outdoor spaces.
historic full time volunteer photo support disabled people

Were you a Full Time Volunteer with us?

We want to tell the stories of our Full Time Volunteers from the last five decades - if you were once a Full Time Volunteer with us, find out how you can get in touch...

Volunteering Matters mobilises people power on #GivingTuesday

In 2015, #GivingTuesday broke the world record for the highest amount of money donated online in a 24 hour period. We think this is brilliant – but #GivingTuesday shouldn’t just be about giving money so we are asking our supporters to donate the gift of time by volunteering in their communities.
North Lanarkshire Befriending project beneficiaries, nominated for VOSCAR awards

We’re going to the VOSCARS!

Our North Lanarkshire Befriending project has been shortlisted for the Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire VOSCAR awards - the voluntary sector Oscars!

VCSE Personal Health Budget Support Network

The Voluntary and Community Sector has an exciting opportunity to take a central role in supporting Clinical Commissioning Groups in the scale up and roll out of personal health budgets, and in enabling greater choice, control and flexibility.
Spirit of 2012 logo #GetOutGetActive

#GetOutGetActive Launch of £4.5 million grant

Spirit of 2012 today announced a UK wide consortium for its latest campaign #GetOutGetActive which focuses on increasing participation in fun and inclusive physical activity.

Volunteering Matters named charity of the year

The national volunteering charity Volunteering Matters was last night (Sep 2015) named charity of the year at the European Diversity Awards (EDAs), held at the Natural History Museum.

How can male volunteers positively influence vulnerable young people in Scotland?

Young people often benefit from having an adult role model they can talk to and trust. Understanding the benefits of a male role model to these young people and, in a bid to ensure their young users can find a positive role model that suits them, the North Lanarkshire Befriending Project is calling out for more male volunteers.

What did we learn from our volunteers this summer?

This summer, we asked our volunteers, why they volunteer, what they think about the training and support we offer, and what benefits they have gained from the experience. Here, Oonagh discusses the results.

Harnessing social action to support older people

The Nuffield Trust recently published a key report, entitled ‘Harnessing social action to support older people’, to present the findings of their evaluation of seven social action projects funded by the Reducing Winter Pressures Fund.