Getting involved with voluntary and community groups allows you to help others in your local area, while learning new skills and building friendships.
Here’s Ready Scotland’s guide to some of the different ways you can get involved based on your availability and the skills you have or want to develop.
Helping your community to prepare for risks and to respond when disruption occurs will help to reduce the impact of these events and support your community’s recovery too. Here’s how:
- Contact your local Community Council to find out more about how it supports local residents through challenging times and how you can get involved. Many Community Councils also have an emergency plan, which helps them to consider their local risks and the resources within their community;
- Your community may have a Neighbourhood Watch Group, or you could consider setting up a new group, bringing together like-minded people;
- Other local groups, including food banks and welfare support groups are always in need of committed volunteers. Volunteer Scotland has a wealth of information about opportunities within local and national groups.
Whether practical, medical or emotional support, or assisting with search and rescue or transport services, specialist voluntary organisations like the British Red Cross, St Andrews Ambulance or Scottish Mountain Rescue make a huge contribution during emergencies.
- Go directly to the volunteer responder organisations that interest you and best suit your skills
- Search for Reserve Volunteer opportunities through the British Red Cross
- Search for more general volunteer vacancies through Volunteer Scotland
Volunteer, reserve and retained posts with the emergency services are challenging and highly rewarding. These roles can be a route into a career in the emergency services and are vital to the safety and security of local communities across Scotland.
- You could become a Community First Responder with Scottish Ambulance Services, a Retained Fire Fighter with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, a Special Constable with Police Scotland or a volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officer.
Fundraising for local emergencies
When emergencies happen locally, you or your community group may consider creating a fundraising appeal. It’s natural for people to donate in times of need, so this can be a quick and impactful way of gathering funds for displaced or affected people.
However managing and distributing funds can be complex and challenging. It is vital that you are clear from the outset what you are raising money for, that you are transparent about what you plan to do with the donations, and that you follow the Code of Fundraising Practice.
If an emergency has a Scotland-wide impact, or if there are lots of smaller fundraising campaigns for the same emergency situation, then the National Emergencies Trust may be able to provide a national platform for fundraising or can assist in the coordination, consolidation and distribution of multiple funds. Contact us to find out more.