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Scotland to launch first volunteering strategy
06 December 2006

Edinburgh, Scotland: Scotland's first official strategy to encourage and structure volunteering is to be launched in the capital Edinburgh.

"Inspiring Volunteering: A Volunteering Strategy for Edinburgh", aims to encourage people to join projects, ranging from teaching or supporting people with special needs, to working in shops.

The strategy has also outlined plans for GPs in the city to prescribe volunteering to help people with mental health difficulties or who have been out of work for a long period of time.

Volunteer hubs, to supplement the existing Volunteer Centre Edinburgh, will be set up over the next few years - and the city council is to create a prize to reward volunteers for their work.

The strategy was drawn up following city-wide consultation by the Edinburgh Compact Partnership, a consortium of key stakeholders including the council, police, health and the voluntary and community sector.

Harriet Eadie, director of Volunteer Centre Edinburgh said: "Volunteering has an impact on all sectors - statutory, public, voluntary, community and the business sector."

Lord Provost, Lesley Hinds said: "The strategy is ambitious in its aims."

The strategy is to be launched at the City Chambers tomorrow.