Back in 1970 Edinburgh Voluntary Oganisations Council opened a new "Volunteer Job Shop" to help people interested in volunteering find opportunities. This was one of the very first in the UK.
Forty years later that little project has evolved from "Job Shop" via "Volunteer Exchange" and is today Volunteer Centre Edinburgh (VCE), an independant company since 2000 and today employing 24 people and engaging 90 volunteers. Over the years VCE has always been at the vanguard of the development of services to volunteers... here are some of our highlights!
1970 - New volunteering project starts managed by EVOC.
1975 - The Volunteer Job Shop provides the first easy "shop front" access to volunteering from new premises in Abbeyhill.
1977 - Now known as Edinburgh Volunteer Exchange the project moves to bigger premises in Dalry Road.
1984 - We become the first Volunteer Centre to launch a dedicated Mental Health project.
1994 - We are the first Scottish Volunteer Centre to launch a project to help companies develop Corporate Social Responsibility through Employer Supported Volunteering.
1996 – We are the first Volunteer Centre to launch a dedicated project to promote volunteering by older volunteers (50+).
1998 - Again at the vanguard we develop programmes to help improve people's employability through volunteering.
2002 – We are the first Volunteer Centre to offer all its opportunities online – and our newly launched website wins a national award.
2003 – VCE establishes its first local office, located in South Edinburgh, encouraging people in regeneration areas to reap the benefits of volunteering.
2006 – First Scottish Volunteer Centre to launch a City-Wide Volunteering Strategy, which all Community Planning Partners sign up to.
2008 – VCE establishes a ground breaking “hub” for patients and visitors within the Royal Edinburgh Hospital.
2009 - VCE is awarded the Investing in Volunteers Award
2010 - VCE launches all new website offering greater choice and infomation for its customers and utilising new social media technologies.
2011 - VCE wins award as one of the top 10 of Scotland's Best Workplaces and one of the UK's Best Workplaces.
2012 - For second year running VCE wins award as one of the Top 10 places to work in Scotland and one of the Top 25 in the UK.
2012 - After 8 years at St Georges West, we move to new larger premises at 24 Torphichen Street.
2012 - VCE is re-awarded the Investing in Volunteers Award for the next three years
2013 - VCE, as part of the Edinburgh Compact, releases Edinburgh's Inspiring Volunteers strategy for the next 5 years
- Craig Turner
– 22 October 2013