VC Dementia Awareness

Staff from the Volunteer Centre took part in a Dementia Friends session on 11th May.

People at all levels benefit from volunteering through developing employability or essential skills.  The Award in Volunteering Skills at SCQF levels 3, 4 and 5 provides formal recognition of volunteering activity.  Through participation in volunteering activities, you will develop a range of skills and personal development experiences which will help to prepare you for responsibility, further education and employment. 

Potential candidates include

S3-S6 pupils, College Students, Adult returners and anyone in a volunteering role

For more specific information contact Kareen Morrison, Volunteering Skills Award Leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 01851 770 202

Naturally, volunteers and trustees want to avoid being sued if something goes wrong. A joint working group of the insurance industry and the voluntary sector has tackled fundamental concerns about protecting individuals and organisations in the voluntary sector and produced new guidance on how volunteers are – and aren't – covered by insurance.

On Thursday 24 April 2014 the Western Isles Poverty Action Group and Partners launched its Survival Guide for those in Crisis. Hard copies are available form Citizen Advice Bureaus in the Western Isles. it can also be downloaded from here:

icon No money? No food? In crisis? A Survival Guide (2.9 MB)

Harris in Bloom is looking for volunteers who would like to help brighten up the area.

Co-Cheangal innse Gall have recently added a new feature to their website. This was added at the request a number of local organisations, who when choosing a date for their own events, wanted an easy way to check what else was going on locally.

You don’t need to log in or have any special computer skills to add an event to the calendar. Just visit our webpage at and click on the add an event button.

Once your entry has been submitted it will be sent to our website administrator for checking before being published. If you experience any problems submitting your event or want us to promote it more widely for you through an entry on our news pages or a mail out please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please help us to populate and promote this to local organisations.

February saw 5 local organisations take to the road to bring an information roadshow and networking lunch to the communities of the Western Isles. The 5 organisations that together create the Western Isles Third Sector Interface – Co-Cheangal Innse Gall (C-CIG) - visited Castlebay, Balivanich, Tarbert and Stornoway . The roadshow, targeted at voluntary organisations, volunteers, social enterprises and community groups, was attended by over 80 people. Its aim was to raise the profile of the partnership C-CIG and explain the range of services offered by the partners.

It's that time of year again when we all start evaluating the past year and planning our work for the future. Here at the Volunteer Centre we are no different and hope you will help us to evaluate our services.

We have set up two very quick multiple choice surveys, one for volunteers and one for organisations. They have 10 questions and should take no more than a couple of minutes to complete. Please help us to improve our services by taking part.

Organisation survey:Click here to take survey

Volunteer survey:Click here to take survey

Here are the details of our full range of Leadership and Social Impact learning programmes for Just Enterprise 2015/16.

Places are filling up fast on all of these, with the first leadership programme in Edinburgh full and operating a waiting list too, showing that demand is high once again.

The Volunteer Centre Western Isles is marking Volunteers' Week this year by holding an exhibition of photographs entitled 'Volunteers in Action.' Staffs have been busy collecting photos from organisations around the islands and will have a display of over 100 photos in Pointers Youth Cafe, North Beach, Stornoway for three days during Volunteers' Week.

Postgraduate Diploma in CLD
School of Education, University of Aberdeen
Application Deadline: 30th April 2015

Water and Sewerage Exemption Scheme for Charities

Applications are open for a new scheme to assist eligible organisations with the payment of water and sewerage charges.

Legacy 2014: Sustainable Sport for Communities Fund is a £1m fund which will help communities to be able to realise their ambitions of owning and running their own sports facilities.

The initial package of support available will focus on clubs and organisations delivering sport and physical activity in their community who wish to:
• take on ownership and operation of existing local facilities
• build and operate new facilities
• make better use of current facilities through capital improvements

We are delighted to confirm that Alex Salmond, First Minister and Angela Constance, Minister for Youth Employment have announced Phase 4 of Community Jobs Scotland.

Foundation Scotland is pleased to announce that the Scotch Whisky Action Fund: Tackling alcohol-related harm is now open for applications. The fund has been established by the Scotch Whisky Association and will distribute £100K per annum over the next 5 years. The fund aims to invest in groups and organisations that wish to reduce the impact of alcohol-

One year ago, as partners in Co-Cheangal Innse Gall the Volunteer Centre along with other members of the Outer Hebrides Community Planning Partnership signed the Climate Change Declaration for the Outer Hebrides, which commits the partnership to action in combating climate change.

The Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) will encourage the economic development of UK coastal communities by giving them funding to create sustainable economic growth and jobs. The Big Lottery Fund is delivering the CCF on behalf of Government.




It was a lovely surprise for mother and son team Steven and Agnes  as they were awarded their 5 year Service to Volunteering Badge from British Red Cross (Lewis Branch) in recognition of their fantastic volunteering efforts.  Steven also received his KISIMUL Award from the Western Isles Volunteer Centre, Stornoway.  This award recognises the impact of volunteering within the community.

Steven said " Volunteering helps me to make new friends and builds my confidence."

"It is wo...nderful to volunteer here at the Red Cross Shop. I feel very supported within this great team and there are always nice people in and out of the shop," said Agnes

"This is a fantastic achievement for you both. Very well done from all the Volunteer Centre staff."



Well done to Leah Glackin P.7 Stornoway Primary.  Leah received the Volunteering Excellence trophy from the Volunteer Centre Western Isles, Stornoway.  Leah has been involved in fundraising throughout the year along with the rest of her year group who all received the CALLANISH AWARD (recognises volunteering for under 12's) She also raised money for Alzheimers Scotland, Lewis and Harris branch by making loom bands and selling them to friends, took part in the Memory Walk and has been volunteering at the Bridge Community Centre.

Keep up the good work Leah and good luck in the Nicolson Institute after the summer holidays


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A huge well done to Donald Mackee, Lewis Retirement Centre.  He was presented with a Certificate of Excellence from Age Scotland in recognition of his volunteering input to combat loneliness and isolation with older people.

The Lewis Retirement Centre provides a facility for older people to meet in a warm and safe environment also enabling them to mix with their peers by making use of the various activities that are on offer. Donald heads a bank of volunteers who prepare and... provide a delicious three course meal on a Thursday with the focus on high quality nutrition and beautiful presentation as well as making the most delicious shortbread. Donald has also through successful funding had the place freshly painted (although storm damage has left him with another big task) had new windows installed and recently had Wi-Fi installed allowing for the highly successful Tea and Technology afternoons to take place

Donald sees the ability in everyone, more often before they see it themselves and is always up for new challenges. Keep up the great work Donald!!Donald McKee 537x640

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Chrisetta Mitchell from the Leanne Fund was presented with the WAVE Award by Kirsty Macdonald, Manager of Volunteer Centre, Western Isles. This award gives recognition to organisations that have adopted and implemented essential procedures and policies for their volunteers.  Well done to the Leanne Fund!! 

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Calum Irvine, C.E.O. Voluntary Action Scotland visited the Western Isles for the first time last week.  He is seen here with Kirsty Macdonald, Manager of the Volunteer Centre and Clive Rowlands, Chairman of our Board. Maybe next time there will be better weather!!


Alzheimers Scotland (Lewis and Harris) presented two of their long standing volunteers with awards.  Between them they have carried out over 50 years volunteering.

23 local surfers and their families turned out on Saturday to carry out some maintenance on a track to one of their local beaches.

Western Isles Association for Mental Health and Befriending Lewis became the 17th and 18th organisations to achieve a WAVE Award this week.


Summit Awards are presented for outstanding contribution to volunteering. It is awarded to those who have completed at least 200 hours volunteering and have exceeded expectations.

Stornoway Volunteer Centre had the pleasure in awarding two young girls with the award.  Amy McClements was nominated by Clare Macleod (President of the Rotary Club Stornoway) for her volunteering with the Nicolson Interact club. 

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Whitney King was nominated by Roseanne Macleod (Manager, Bridge Community Centre) for her volunteering with the various youth groups.

Very well done to both girls!





The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act received Royal Assent on 24 July 2015. This SCDC briefing aims to explain the provisions of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act and to set out some of the implications and opportunities they have for community development, community Cover of briefing on Actorganisations and community planning.

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A lovely lunch and ceremony was held at the Council Offices for the HILLS Project volunteers.  Saltire and Kisimul awards were presented for the volunteering carried out at the Failte cafe, Pointers and also for volunteering with the Regeneration Project at the Castle grounds. As a treat Councillor Charlie Nicolson invited us into the Council Chambers to get our picture taken.


Stornoway Primary achieved their Callanish Youth Awards.   These awards recognise participation in a one-off team event.  Children at the Stornoway Primary held a car wash and a soup and pudding lunch.  There was a great turn out for this and money was raised for their up coming school trip to the mainland. 

CHSS is looking for new volunteers for their Heart Failure befriending
service, and stroke community services in Stornoway and surrounding area.

Great new opportunities to volunteer in local charity shops now available!

Help out their vital work and have fun, gain experience and meet new people.

The Stornoway Retirement Centre has been refurbished and now has space available to let to community groups.

 These are just a few of our latest requests for Volunteers. For more opportunities try our search page or for opportunties throughout Scotland, including more in the Western Isles visit

For more information on any of the opportunities below or to advertise your volunteer vacancies on this page please contact the Stornoway office on 01851 700366

We are now on facebook -  like us and keep up to date with the latest opportunities as requests come in.

SILVER LINE FRIENDS are volunteers who enjoy offering friendship to older people, either by   telephone or letter. Volunteers are vital to The Silver Line’s ability to achieve our aim of reducing loneliness and improving the lives of older people. They are our link to communities and older people across the UK, as well as providing our organisation with invaluable skills and capacity to help us make a difference. We hope that many of our Helpline callers will volunteer to become Silver Line Friends.  Please see the website to complete an application form or contact any of the Volunteer Centre Offices in the Western Isles to find out more.

BACK FOOTBALL CLUB - now have some new volunteering opportunities available. YOUTH CAFE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE MEMBER, MATCH REPORTER, CLUB HELPER, EVENTS HELPER,BUNTING PROJECT CRAFTERS, COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND COACHING.  Contact the Volunteer Centre Stornoway for more detailed information on each of these opportunities

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING AN URBAN DETECTIVE? Free workshops to help you investigate and record the missing history of Stornoway. Members of the public with a story to share, old family photographs or information about Stornoway can become Urban Detectives by contributing the history on their doorstep to the National Record of the Historic Environment - one of Scotland's national collections - through the Scotland’s Urban Past (SUP) website. This national record is a dig...ital time machine, holding images and information about more than 320,000 sites in Scotland. But with many places still to be recorded for future generations, Stornoway's local Urban Detectives are being asked to help fill in the gaps. SUP is a five-year project from Historic Environment Scotland, supported by the National Lottery with a grant of £1.65m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project provides free training, support and resources to people of all ages to help them discover and share the fascinating stories of Scotland’s towns and cities.  Two free workshops for Urban Detectives will be taking place at Stornoway Library on Monday 25 July.

For more information or to register as an Urban Detective and begin contributing, visit

WESTERN ISLES SENSORY CENTRE/SIGHT ACTION is looking for Support Group Volunteers to help with a new exciting venture. In September the WISC will be starting two support groups. One will be for visually impaired adults and the other for adults with hearing loss.  Volunteers are needed to provide a minimum of 5 hours a month.Training and support will be given. MINI BUS DRIVER volunteers also required to drive the minibus to escort service users to and from the Sensory Centre

BEFRIENDING LEWIS   Do you have a caring nature, are you good at listening , do you have spare time each week and would you like to make a difference in the community and become a befriender?   Every Befriender benefits from two training sessions before being matched with a Befriendee.  NEW... GYM BUDDIES....Do you have what it takes to be a "Gym buddy?" Now looking for volunteers who might want to befriend someone who needs a little support and encouragement to get back into a healthy lifestyle. 

ADVOCACY WESTERN ISLES - An independent advice service providing generic and children's & young people's advocacy. The aim is for every resident in the Western Isles to be able to access a trained advocate at times of need, particularly those individuals or groups who are most vulnerable and at risk from social exclusion, or who feel that for whatever reason they need help/support standing up for their rights. Volunteer Management Committee members are required to join the team that would be able to attend four meetings per year.  No experience required as training will be given.  For more detailed info contact Volunteer Centre. 

THE LEANNE FUND - Established in 2010, The Leanne Fund is a registered charity which provides a range of support services for young people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and their families in the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland.  An opportunity has arisen for new members to join the board to help ensure the future of this unique service and provision continuing to make a positive and fulfilling contribution to the beneficiaries.  This opportunity would suit a team player who would also have a personal commitment and empathy sharing the vision and values and willingness to act as an ambassador for the Leanne Fund helping to build partnerships and networks to support the fundraising efforts to deliver the expanding programme of work.  For more detailed information contact Chrisetta Mitchell 07771243709 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FAILTE CAFE - The Failte cafe is run by a group of volunteers with additional support needs and is open every Wednesday early afternoon.  A volunteer is required to offer one to one support on a regular basis.  This opportunity would suit someone with a background or interest in care. It would also be valuable experience for anyone partaking in a care course.

ACTION AID - Action Aid aims to help provide better living conditions in under-developed countries for children and their families.  As a volunteer with Action Aid you would help to raise funds for this worthwhile cause.  The Stornoway charity shop are seeking volunteers for their shop.  This opportunity entails serving in the shop, receiving and getting donations ready for resale and also dealing with members of the public. 

FIRST RESPONDERS - Point and Carloway areas.  A First Responder is a member of the public who volunteers to help their community by responding to medical emergencies while the ambulance is on its way.  Before being accepted into the team each First Responder will receive essential training from the Scottish Ambulance Service, necessary clearances to work and ongoing refreshment training. 

WIAMH - Support Work- Catch 23 - Help to create a home from home relaxed and supportive atmosphere for adults who are experiencing or have experienced mental health difficulties.  As a volunteer you will be asked to welcome members, be ready to listen and encourage service users to meet without the fear of being judged by the stigma of mental health and the issues around it.  Training is provided.

LEWIS RETIREMENT CENTRE - provides facilities for older people to meet in a warm and safe environment.  Lunch club - The club offers members a chance to socialise while preparing a three course meal.  If you can cook you can share your skills or if you would like to learn to cook then this friendly, fun club will welcome you.. 

CABRAICH COMMUNITY ARTS - Traditional Music Night - A lovely evening of traditional music at Stornoway Retirement Centre where all are very welcome. Volunteers are required to help with general setting up, meeting and greeting and socialising with folk.  Times are from 6-9pm every Friday. Volunteers do not have to commit to every week. ALSO anyone interested in baking for these music evenings? Cost of ingredients will be covered. Could you give an hour of your time to help make and serve teas at breaktime?

PAIN CONCERN - Helpline volunteer.  Pain Concern is a charity providing information and support to people with pain and those who care for them.  Dedicated, enthusiastic and empathetic volunteers are required to respond to incoming calls on the dedicated helpline.  This is a great opportunity to develop your communication skills and gain an understanding of pain self-management, whilst doing something worthwhile.  Training is provided and expenses paid for. 

VOLUNTEER CLASSROOM SUPPORT - The Christian School offers the community another option for the educational needs of children.  Operating since 1999 and based in Newmarket.  We seek individuals who are sympathetic to and in agreement with the aims and objectives of the school to support teachers in the delivery of the curriculum.  Opportunities are available for those who can offer as little as a morning or an afternoon fo a few days in the week.  Reasonable travel expenses will be paid but this will be considered on a case to case basis.  We would also look to support individuals who seek to develop their skills and abilities as volunteers within the school. 

STARAN - Have started two new ventures following the success of The Boat Project.  The YachtProject, the main focus will centre on the refurbishment of a yacht and will include the use of skills such as woodworking, electrical, mechanics and fibre glass to name a few.  The Embark Project - is introducing UPCYCLING which will include anything from revamping old tables to making furniture out of pallets.  Both projects provide activities particularly, but not solely for those who have issues with substance misuse.

.EILEAN SIAR FOODBANK is a voluntary organisation who provides a minimum of three days food to local people in crisis. They are looking for volunteers to support their work at the Distribution Centre. All food is donated by the public to people who have been referred by frontline care professionals.  This volunteering opportunity asks for volunteers to be confidential and offers a range of duties from background activities like stock control through to administration duties.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BECOME A MENTOR? -Mentoring Programme – Fun proactive supportive the Bridge Community Centre’s Mentoring Programme is looking for volunteers (aged 18+) to become Mentors for young people; who can be a positive role model providing extra support and encouragement and take part in various fun activities while empowering them to make better decisions for themselves. If you have a heart to work with young people (aged 8-18) and have 1-2 hours a week and can commit to the minimum of 1 year then get in touch. Don’t worry about a lack of experience as full training and support will be provided.

PHAB STORNOWAY - are looking for VOLUNTEER Mini bus drivers who would be interested in volunteering on a rota basis picking up members of the group on a Monday evening.  This would include collecting the minibus at 7pm and dropping it back off at about 9.30pm.  It takes about 30 mins to do the collect run.  Because of licensing restrictions drivers must have passed their driving test before 1999.  The PHAB club would pay to put interested people through the MIDAS testing. 

SCOTLAND'S URBAN PAST - are part of Historic Scotland. We work with community groups and young people across Scotland to explore and celebrate their towns and cities.  We are currently seeking 20 volunteers to join our Youth Forum.  This opportunity is for anyone in Scotland aged between 16 and 24.  Members of the forum will receive expert-led training, gain hands-on experience in the heritage and cultural sector, project management, receive careers advice, organise and create own events and much more.  Travel expenses will be reimbursed. For more information contact Victoria Robb This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 From time to time some of our local SENIOR CITIZENS CLUBS have a bag packing session to raise funds for their groups. They would really love to recruit a few extra pairs of hands on a one off basis. Would you be willing to give up a couple of hours on a one off basis to help some of our local groups raise funds by bag packing? Some of our smaller groups do not have enough members to meet the minimum required for a bag packing session and would like to recruit a few extra pairs of hands. Dates and groups supported will vary, so get in touch if you're interested and we can keep you up to dates with upcoming opportunities.

PARIC SOCIAL CLUB FOR OVER 60'S are looking to recruit new members to the group, particularly those with an interest in helping to run the club. The club meets every second Wednesday fro 1pm-3pm at Ravenspoin, Kershader for lunch and a guest speaker. They also carry out fundraising activities, a Christmas lunch and other social events. For more information contact Bellann at the Volunteer Centre.

BRITISH RED CROSS - .  The Stornoway branch of the Red Cross are looking for VOLUNTEERS to support people in their community who are facing a crisis or need help to become independent in their own home following an accident or illness.  Could you give some time to help with food shopping, a little housework or even just to make a cup of tea.  VOLUNTEERS also required for the busy Red Cross charity shop. 

MANOR AND CASTLE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION are looking for new members.   VOLUNTEERS required for future upcoming events that will benefit the Manor and Castle area. If you can give an hour or more of your time then contact Councillor Gordon Murray 07769287044 or call the Volunteer Centre 01851 700366.

VOLUNTEERING MATTERS, FULL TIME VOLUNTEER PROGRAMME Volunteering Matters has been placing full time volunteers at the heart of communities since 1962 and are offering a unique opportunity for 18-35 year olds the chance to assist on social care projects across the U.K. -  developing skills, improving self-confidence, meeting new people and changing lives. This is a great way for young people from all backgrounds to gain experience in a real workplace, learn new skills, learn to live independently and also to boost UCAS points.  As a full time volunteer you will receive free accommodation and a weekly allowance as well as support and supervision throughout your volunteering.  For more information e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 0131 622 7766

CHILDREN'S PANEL MEMBERS NEEDED - Children's Panel members make vital decisions about vulnerable children and young people in need of help.  By VOLUNTEERING to sit on the Children's Panel you could make a real difference to their lives.  You don't need qualifications to apply, you just need to care, need to be at least 18 years of age, either work or live in the local authority area in which you wish to serve as a panel member, be able to attend panel member training, (dates are from January to June and are available to view on  For more detailed information contact Marina Macauley 01851 822613or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MARIE CURIE - OUTER HEBRIDES FUNDRAISING GROUP new members needed! We're looking for enthusiastic new players to join our fundraising group. Joining your local fundraising group is a really great way to raise funds for Marie Curie while also meeting new people and having lots of fun. Our fantastic fundraising groups help raise vital funds for people living with a terminal illness and their families. They play an important role by taking part in all our national fundraising campaigns such as the Great Daffodil Appeal, Blooming Great Tea Party and other yearly collections. We also rely on them to help organise fundraising events and activities within their local community. Our groups act as ambassadors, helping to spread the word about the work of Marie Curie and encouraging and supporting local people, clubs and organisations to fundraise for us too. All across the UK, groups of volunteers meet regularly to organise and support fundraising activities in their local community. Contact John Masterson on 01859 530463 or 07788940222, or Kate at the Volunteer Centre in Harris. 

 The NORTH HARRIS TRUST are looking for volunteers to help with their current project. Staff and volunteers will be working on the NORTH HARRIS EASTERN WOODLANDS PROJECT, every Friday 9-5pm throughout August and September. The project is in a remote location, taking about 1 hour to walk in over mountainous terrain. So volunteers need to be physically able, but no previous fencing experience is required. 3km of deer fence needs to be installed between the head of Loch Trolamarig and the Lacasdail Lochs. The materials were carried out by helicopter and construction is now well under way. See:

Suitable for anyone over 12 years old. Anyone under 18 to be accompanied by an adult.Please bring packed lunch, gardening gloves, waterproof clothing and footwear suitable for rough terrain.For more details or to volunteer please contact: Matt Watts, Ranger, North Harris Trust, Tigh an Urrais, Tarbert, Isle of Harris, HS3 3DB. Tel: 01859 502 222. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MACMILLAN CANCER SUPPORT (ISLE OF LEWIS) Would you like to join our small fundraising committee in Lewis.  We  meet once a month and co-ordinate various fundraising events over the year.  You can choose to be involved in as much or as few activities as you wish.  Some of these activities include  bag packing, manning the disabled access at the Hebridean Celtic Festival, manning shop and stalls at Hebrides Rally and supporting the  5k run in September.  For more information go onto our facebook page  or call into the Volunteer Centre, 95 Cromwell Street, Stornoway or phone 01851 700366

Tarbert Coastguard - VOLUNTEERS URGENTLY NEEDED   'Being a Coastguard Rescue Officer is for me a great privilege being able to help our community, whether it be as a Marshall at a race event or at a concert or trying to help someone who is danger. The role as a CRO covers a wide range of skills from searches for missing persons... to cliff rescue and water rescue. We also deal with possible ordnance washed up on our shores and beaches and pollution events around our shoreline. And last winter we were ask to assist checking on the community after the January storms/power cuts by the Western Isles Emergency Planning Group. This involved getting emergency generators to people relying on electrical medical equipment, we also helped the Red Cross and Leverburgh Care Home deliver hot soup and food to people. The training you get as a member of the coastguard is also second to none. Regular assessments on your training make sure that you are up to speed with whatever situation that you may be tasked too. You can't beat the feeling you get from knowing that you have helped someone. ‘Volunteer Coastguards need to be at least 18 years old with a reasonable level of fitness, and live within 30 minutes of the Coastguard Station. As a coastguard rescue officer you could be called out at any time of the day or night; may have to work in hazardous situations for long hours; may have to carry out physically demanding tasks, eg carrying heavy equipment to rescue sites. Although as a volunteer you won’t be paid, you can claim a small amount for your time and expenses. All training and clothing etc is provided. Interested in joining? Contact Kate at the Volunteer Centre in Tarbert for all the info! 01859 502636

CATS PROTECTION, ISLE OF LEWIS BRANCH - are looking for volunteers to help out with a variety of roles.  Could you offer an hour or two a week of your time to help with practical tasks like feeding and cleaning?  Could you help with collecting supplies or taking/collecting cats to and from vets appointments occasionally?  Could you help at fundraising events or help man a stall at the local summer shows? Could you help with the web page/internet page or just become a Cat cuddler where showing a little comfort to cats could make a big difference. Cat Fosterers also needed occasionally.  If this is of interest to you and you would like more information then contact Karen Cowan 01851 702671 or contact Volunteer Centre Stornoway 01851 700366 .

MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM - The Mountain Rescue Team covers the whole island, from the Butt to Barra.  Their role is to provide a land based search and rescue asset for Police Scotland.  Mountain Rescue are involved in the search, rescue and recovery of missing persons as well as those in trouble in the great outdoors often working with the crew of the Coastguard Helicopter.  VOLUNTEERING opportunities are on-going although the team only recruit once a year with aspirants starting in June.  Check out the website or e-mail Helene Lagrange for more information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GIRLGUIDING are looking for volunteers are needed to cover various areas throughout the islands to allow the units to remain open.  Age range is 5-18 which includes Rainbows, Brownies and Guides.  Could you be a leader, an assistant leader, unit helper or occasional helper?  Are you doing Duke of Edinburgh Awards or a college course on childcare where you could gain experience working with various groups? They are also looking for help creating a webpage and show them how to maintain it, media support and accounts help. If you can spare some time to encourage and motivate the next generation of leaders and would like some more information

WESTERN ISLES CITIZENS ADVICE - TARBERT OFFICE - Are looking for a General Adviser. An opportunity to train to provide effective and efficient advice to members of the public on a wide range of topics. 

WESTERN ISLES CITIZENS ADVICE  - STORNOWAY OFFICE - Are looking for a Centre Assistant (admin and reception work), Debts Adviser (advising people on how to budget), Community Champions (help to promote CAB).These opportunities are suitable for all ages.  The training offered suits a wide range of people, whether you are a school leaver or in between jobs looking for experience, retired or about to retire where your life skills and experiences can be passed on to others.

ACTIVE SCHOOLS - led by sportscotland, are seeking volunteers to work alongside schools and communities to promote and create physical activity opportunities for children in the Western Isles. or work with local sports clubs/ groups/organisations/community associations and rural facilities as well as Sport and Health partners. They have various opportunities available which include the delivery of various projects and initiatives as well as the potential opportunity to gain coaching qualifications. 

CHEST, HEART AND STROKE - Outreach Community Support is a valued support group looking for volunteers to help service users in both Outreach and Group settings with communication and social activities in Lewis and Harris.  Car owners and drivers in particular are required, as many who are living with Stroke or Heart Failure who use our Outreach Service live rurally and you  may be asked on occasion to help with transport to and from groups - however driving is not essential.  All volunteers will receive expenses, specialised training and support.   As a valued volunteer you will have the opportunity to learn new skills, help other people and make new friends. MONDAY CLUB - The Monday Club is a lively and positive group looking for volunteers to help out with socialising and teas at the Grianan Day Centre. 

ALZHEIMERS SCOTLAND -  is a registered charity that aims to provide support services, information and advice for people living with dementia and their carers.  It is a great way for people living with to meet and benefit from peer support.  Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris offer various flexible volunteering opportunities available at different times.  These include helping at the Solas Day Centre, befriending opportunities, volunteer drivers, as well as supporting community events such as Monthly Dementia Cafes, Monthly Singing Groups and a Monthly Walking Group. The local Lewis and Harris Branch support Alzheimer Scotland Lewis and Harris services with vital fundraising events and also welcome volunteers to support their branch activities

VICTIM SUPPORT SCOTLAND - Victim Support Highland and Western Isles need volunteers to support victims of crime and witnesses attending court on Lewis. Volunteers may be involved in a range of activities, including making contact with victims/witnesses by phone, supporting witnesses, attending court and visiting victims in their own homes to offer practical and emotional support in the aftermath of crime.  Full training will be given. A more detailed role description available from our office at 95 Cromwell Street, Stornoway 01851 700366

RSPB WESTERN ISLES  are looking for volunteers to support their two main areas of work on the Isle of Lewis – crofting and community fundraising. Crofting includes being an extra pair of hands to a local crofter to support them in managing their crofts for wildlife. You will get involved in a range of tasks and will get support and guidance from the RSPB staff. Community fundraisers support the financial work of the RSPB by taking charge of placing pin badge boxes with local businesses and ensuring that the collections are passed on to the RSPB.

HORSHADER COMMUNITY GROWING PROJECT - have growing units located in Shawbost and have availability for volunteers to help out. Volunteers will be carrying out general gardening duties such as watering, weeding and harvesting. No previous experience is required to be a community garden volunteer and full support will be given.

BRIDGE YOUTH AND COMMUNITY GROUP - The Bridge club offers activities ranging from sport to social development.  In order to fulfil that potential in young people volunteers are required from various backgrounds and interests.  A volunteer should ideally have an interest in working with young people and be fully committees to their well being.  Volunteers would need to be flexible, enthusiastic and have a good sense of humour.  Times are variable to suit club and activities.

At the end of last term Kate was pleased to present trophies and certificates for volunteering excellence to P7 pupils from Leverhulme Memorial School in Leverburgh and Sir E Scott School in Tarbert.

The first Volunteer Centre trophy for Volunteering Excellence to be awarded at Sir E Scott School in Harris was presented to Ross MacLeod.


What better way to send a Saturday morning than being in the great outdoors? These 4 young lads from Harris gave up a couple of hours on 31st October to paint a bench at the start of the Marruig>Urgha path in North Harris, and a brilliant job they made of it too.


Mr Ian Scarr-Hall (Amhuinnsuidhe Castle) has once again agreed to offer awards in recognition  of a significant contribution to voluntary effort in Harris. The money which accompanies the Awards  would be used to further the work in which the recipient is involved.

The event at the Volunteer Centre in Tarbert on 7th August was a great success, with several enthusiastic volunteers tackling 400m of plastic piping to make around 400 bait stations for the Shiant Seabirds Recovery Project.

Sir E Scott Saltire Awards

The Volunteer Awards Ceremony was held on 4th June in Lews Castle College, with over 100 attendees. Presented by Volunteer Centre Development Officers Kathryn Macleod and Kate Langley, the Awards aimed to recognise and reward volunteers from Lewis and Harris.

It was the perfect day to be outdoors on Saturday 29th March as Cub packs from all over Lewis descended on the Scaladale Centre to help with the WISE project and to plant trees in the Ardvourlie Woodland for the North Harris Trust.

The Western Isles Support for the Environment (WISE) project continued in Harris last weekend when a small group of primary children and their camera-shy parents walked the Direcleit circular path to collect all the litter ...

Dear Colleagues, Friends, Neighbours, and Volunteers:


I am both happy and sad to announce that today is my last day with the Volunteer Centre. As of Monday, I will be starting a new career, based in Inverness.


While I'm excited by the prospect of new challenges, I will miss the many kind, generous, dedicated people who I've had the privilege to work with here in Uist.  I am truly grateful to all of you for your support over these past few years, and I wish you all the best in the future.


Unfortunately, the Uist office will be closed temporarily, pending recruitment of new staff. I apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.  If you need any help in the interim, particularly with Saltire Awards, please feel free to contact one of our other Volunteer Centre offices.


Thanks again, and Best Wishes,


Amanda MacDonald



Amanda MacDonald, the Development Worker at VCWI’s Balivanich office, delivered a workshop on Family Volunteering at the annual North Alliance conference, held 7 October, in Nairn. The workshop was developed as a follow-up to the Family Volunteering pilot project, which saw more than 30 families take part in two Family Volunteering Fair events, held in Uist and Barra.

This autumn volunteers from Harris and South Uist joined forces to carry out a path maintenance project at Carinish Crofting Woodland, in North Uist. The volunteers worked together to spread gravel in clear drainage channels over a section of the walking trail which had suffered heavy flooding last winter.


The Barra Co-op Local Forum is one of only five pilot schemes established in Scotland to bring together local Co-operative members, customers and colleagues to make good things happen in their local area.


This October pupils from Castlebay School received recognition for the volunteering hours they have accumulated since the beginning of the year.

The Saltire awards scheme, initiated by the Scottish Government, recognises the significant contribution made by young volunteers in our community. Certificates are issued as young people reach milestones of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500 hours. Well done to everyone who is taking part, and in particular to Jessica MacNeil and Catherine Sinclair who have achieved 500 hours.


Congratulations to Castlebay School pupil Catherine Sinclair who was recently presented with the Volunteer Centre Award for Volunteering Excellence on Barra. The award is presented annually to the Secondary pupil who, during their school years, has contributed to school life and to the community by volunteering.

On Saturday 20th June families came together in Castlebay to take part in the Volunteer Centre’s Family Volunteering Day. The day featured several fun activities which were suitable for all ages, at the same time the event promoted the benefits of volunteering as a family or with friends.

Pupils and staff from Castlebay Community School took some time away from their busy Christmas schedule to recognise the impact made by young volunteers on Barra. Pupils have been taking part in the Scottish government’s Saltire Awards by recording all the volunteering hours they have completed for various groups.


There are lots of exciting opportunities to volunteer on Barra, and lots you can get involved in. Look out for our Barra volunteering poster or contact the Barra office on 01871 890775 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Barra Volunteer Awards were held in Castlebay Hall on Friday 6th of June 2014. The awards are held to celebrate the wonderful work carried out by volunteers in our community, and many of the volunteers nominated for an award this year gathered together to reflect on the very positive impact volunteering makes on Barra and Vatersay.

Volunteers and neighbours came together to hold Barra's first ever Big Lunch. Volunteering is at the heart of the community on Barra, but every busy volunteer needs a break; a chance to sit and chat with their neighbours and take life a little easy. So the Volunteer Centre in Northbay decided to host a Big Lunch open to everyone in the community.