Aberdeenshire Volunteering Project

editorial image

How does spending your day tweeting or being on Facebook sound? Or helping to pull together the content of a magazine? Or collecting new specimens and preparing new exhibits at an aquarium?

These are just some of the opportunities available in an Aberdeenshire wide programme being launched for young people put together by ProjectScotland, Scotland’s national youth volunteering organisation, and Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership.

If you are aged 16–25, out of work, not sure where to go next or looking to make a new start in 2012, this programme has been designed specifically for you.

It gives young people the chance to get involved with local organisations whilst learning new skills, meeting new people and genuinely making a difference to their community. The opportunities are tremendously varied and are being provided by prominent local organisations such as Cornerstone, The National Trust for Scotland, CFINE and Aberdeenshire Council themselves.

This is the third time that this kind of project has been run and previous participants can vouch for the enormous benefits they got from taking part.

Pamela, 22, worked in various temping jobs after graduating from Robert Gordon University. Looking for something better, she found out about ProjectScotland. Volunteering as a Heritage Assistant at Crathes Castle, Pamela explains “I was responsible for producing posters and other marketing material that was used as part of an NTS nationwide promotion. I also helped other staff with things like spread sheets – I really felt like I was able to put me university learning to good use.”

Three months on and Pamela is working for global organisation Consafe Engineering. Pamela says that her ProjectScotland placement was a hot topic when she went for the interview. “My interviewer was interested in the stuff I’d been doing at NTS – I had been using the same programme used at Consafe for the blueprints I’d been working on at Castle Fraser. This was a great talking point and it was brilliant that the work I’d been doing at NTS was relevant.”

So far over 3,500 young people across Scotland have had a volunteering opportunity through ProjectScotland, with around 70% moving on into education or employment. Over 90% agree that it has helped them with their confidence, their ability to take responsibility and their communication and team-working skills.

Susan Watt, ProjectScotland’s Chief Executive, explains: “Throughout the project, the young people are encouraged and helped to recognise and develop their skills and build their confidence. They are supported by independent, external mentors who are themselves volunteers”

ProjectScotland placements are uniquely full time – volunteers commit to 30 hours per week for 3 months. In return for this, volunteers get a great experience that will help move them even closer to work, and get help with travelling expenses.

Recruitment is happening now and to find out more about these great opportunities, log on to ProjectScotland’s website (www.projectscotland.co.uk) and register online. The number of opportunities is limited so as the saying goes, book now to avoid disappointment.