Today, the Make Your Mark in Volunteering campaign has received a Heritage Fund grant of £142,722. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, Make Your Mark supports everyone in Scotland to volunteer with their cultural, built and natural heritage.
In the wake of COVID-19 and a prolonged period of social isolation, volunteering is more important than ever as a way to meet people, develop skills and have exciting and new experiences. Volunteers are vital to our heritage. Their time and effort ensures that it continues to be looked after and enjoyed by all, particularly as we address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and the impact of climate change.
Thanks to this funding, Make Your Mark will work with marginalised groups to co-create inclusive heritage volunteering opportunities and events. The campaign will focus on engaging with ethnic minority women, disabled people, African and Caribbean Scots and refugees and people seeking asylum by partnering with AMINA Muslim Women’s Resource Centre, Glasgow Disability Alliance, Jambo! Radio and Scottish Refugee Council.
Make Your Mark will also foster inclusive heritage volunteering by providing training and resources for volunteer-involving heritage organisations to identify and remove barriers to volunteering.
Caroline Clark, Heritage Fund Director for Scotland, said: “We want to see every project taking steps to reach out to new people, to share heritage beyond their organisation and to embed inclusive practice as far as they can. Make Your Mark has real strength in providing support that will identify issues and opportunities from the perspectives of individuals in marginalised groups and heritage organisations and work with both to ensure volunteering is more accessible.”
Christina McKelvie MSP, Culture Minister, said: “The Make Your Mark grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund plays an important role in making volunteering in the heritage sector accessible to everyone. Volunteers help to promote and protect our cultural heritage and this grant for training and resources will give marginalised groups the opportunity to develop their skills and make a significant contribution to their local communities.”
Alan Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer of Volunteer Scotland and Chair of the Make Your Mark campaign, said: “We’re delighted to receive the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund who’ve ensured that this vital campaign continues to flourish. More people will experience the enormous benefits of volunteering and through this, Scotland’s incredible built and natural heritage can continue to be enjoyed long into the future.”
Gün Orgun, Volunteer Development Coordinator at Scottish Refugee Council, said: “It’s fantastic to be part of this campaign to involve refugee volunteers, as well as other groups that have found such opportunities hard to access. Meaningful volunteering opportunities have an undisputed value – and volunteering in the heritage sector has added symbolic significance. We know that people will take pride and find a sense of belonging in being included in museums, libraries and other places of cultural, historic and natural significance not just as occasional visitors, but as active contributors.”