Voluntary Sector

Scottish Executive – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:30 pm on 24th June 1999.

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Photo of Mike Watson Mike Watson Labour 2:30 pm, 24th June 1999

To ask the Scottish Executive what plans it has to strengthen its relationship with the voluntary sector in Scotland. (S1O-108)

In relation to that question, I would like to register an interest as a board member of the Volunteer Centre, which is based in Glasgow.

Photo of Wendy Alexander Wendy Alexander Labour

I will ask the Scottish Parliament to consider endorsing "The Scottish Compact" at an early stage. I plan to build on that document to promote a positive partnership with the voluntary sector.

Photo of Mike Watson Mike Watson Labour

I welcome that response and I am sure that it includes Scottish executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies.

The minister will be aware that around 50 per cent of the people in Scotland take part in voluntary activity annually. That contributes an amazing figure of almost £4 billion to the Scottish economy every year. Those figures are extrapolated from a survey that was carried out in England two years ago. Will the minister consider initiating baseline research into volunteering in Scotland? That would be of considerable benefit in mapping out the future of volunteering.

Photo of Wendy Alexander Wendy Alexander Labour

I am happy to give Mr Watson the undertaking for which he asks. We will undertake baseline research on volunteering in Scotland to give us specifically Scottish data.