The Volunteering Support Fund  

Volunteering Support Fund July 2018 - March 2021

In March of 2018 the Scottish Government committed £3.3 million to support volunteering in Scotland until March 2021. Applications closed on the 4th of May and all funding has now been allocated.

The Volunteering Support Fund (VSF) is funded by the Scottish Government which has committed a total of £3.3 million over the funding period 1 July 2018 - 31 March 2021 to improve support for volunteers. The Fund will be managed by the Voluntary Action Fund.

Since 2013 over 450 organisations have benefitted from the Volunteering Support Fund, resulting in improved support for thousands of volunteers, more than half of whom had experienced disadvantage. As part of our VSF last year, organisations developed a useful trouble-shooting guide summarising how to overcome common issues within volunteer management, please click HERE to download a copy. 

One of our 2018 - 2021 funded organisations, LANDED Peer Education Service, has made an excellent video featuring the young people they work with. We'll be sharing videos on this page throughout the duration of the funded programme so keep a look out. 



Grants of between £7,500 and £10,000 per annum have been made available for individual organisations, who will be expected to recruit at least 15 additional volunteers, including 10 who experience disadvantage or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering; and provide opportunities for both current and new volunteers to benefit from a meaningful volunteering experience, eg through training, learning new skills, and increased participation in their local community.

The fund has been extremely popular and VAF received 230 applications for this round, totalling £5.4 million. Following a robust assessment process 126 organisations have been funded who will be contributing towards the following four outcomes:

  1. Increasing the diversity of the third sector’s volunteer pool, especially to include people who experience disadvantage or would traditionally experience barriers to volunteering;
  2. Improving opportunities for skills and personal development through volunteering;
  3. Improving the third sector’s capacity to support, train and deploy volunteers; and
  4. Enhancing the services organisations deliver to better meet the needs of the communities they serve.

Please click HERE for a PDF list of the projects which have been funded and where they are. An Excel spreadsheet of the information can be downloaded from HERE. Click HERE for a detailed overview of the organisations and projects and our map below also shows the geographic spread of projects for this fund. 

With the programme running for an extended period and covering a wider range of projects VAF is now able to develop regional cluster groups. The key aim of the groups is to bring organisations together, share skills and provide a united stance and support network on volunteer management and recruitment. The groups will be owned and led by the funded projects and it is proposed that each cluster meeting includes a specific learning element identified by the participants then a networking meeting to include organisations in the wider area.

Where such networks already exist then VAF will support them in ways which are appropriate and proportional.

Please click HERE to download a copy of the 2018 workshop schedule.

Additional Resources

We are building a bank of resources which will be useful for funded projects and are currently looking at how they are stored and accessed. Until we have this sorted out we will list them here. Please click the resource you want to access to download it.

Volunteering and DWP Welfare Benefits