Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford has backed Stirling’s bid to become the European Volunteering Capital 2020.


The competition is run by the European Volunteer Centre and recognises regions that offer outstanding support to volunteers. Previous winners have been Barcelona, Lisbon and London.


If Stirling’s bid is successful, it will be the first Scottish location to hold the title.


Mr Crawford met up with Natalie Masterson, Chief Executive of Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise, and with George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland, to discuss Stirling’s bid.


Commenting, Bruce Crawford said:


“This is an exciting opportunity for Stirling. Volunteers in this area provide a highly valuable service to local communities and this dedication should be recognised.


“Having met with George and Natalie to discuss this bid in detail, I am impressed with the vision that Volunteer Scotland and Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise have for promoting our local area’s community spirit and volunteering opportunities.


“The organisations who have partnered up to take forward the bid are doing a fantastic job, and I stand ready to help in any way I can to promote the work of our local volunteering sector.”


George Thomson said:


“We want to make Stirling alive with volunteering. We’ll achieve this with a vibrant year-long Festival of Volunteering in 2020 that involves all our communities. We want to capture Stirling’s strong community spirit and the feel-good factor that volunteering brings. Starting now, we’re inviting everyone to #congainto2020 with us and back Stirling’s bid to be the European Volunteering Capital for 2020. Show your support on social media with the hashtag (#congainto2020) and share a photo or video of your own conga.”


Natalie Masterson said:


“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response so far. It’s great to see such strong support from local businesses, charities and voluntary organisations as well as the Scottish Government. We want people to get behind the bid for the real benefits it will bring to Stirling. The competition is more than about winning a prestigious title. As well as seeing a growth in volunteering, previous winners have attracted increased funding and resources for the training and development of volunteers, have built international partnerships for the sharing of best practice and have seen improvements to the health and well-being of their citizens.”