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volunteering news

Inspiring volunteers to help make Edinburgh better

Cllr. Robert Aldridge, The Rt. Hon. Lord Provost of Edinburgh at the 25th Volunteer Edinburgh Recruitment Fair with some members of the Volunteer Edinburgh team.


By Connor Law, Volunteer Edinburgh volunteer


In September Volunteer Edinburgh hosted their 25th Volunteer Recruitment Fair, matching local volunteers and organisations.

The first recruitment fair was held in 1998 and has since become one of the largest events of its kind in Scotland. Stallholders attending the fair this year include organisations such as: Edinburgh Leisure, Cancer Research UK, Fresh Start, NHS Lothian, Sight Scotland, Green Team (Edinburgh and Lothians), among many others.

When asked why the recruitment fair was first started, Chief Officer at Volunteer Edinburgh Paul Wilson stated “It started as a way of showcasing as many great volunteering opportunities that were available as possible.  Also giving the public a chance to meet organisations, chat and find out more.  It’s a hypermarket for volunteering!”

When asked who some of the first recognisable stall holders were, Mr Wilson said “There were some of the big household names in volunteering, as there are now but also right from the start 25 years ago, we have tried to encourage the smaller, local organisations to get involved, and they do!  Equality of opportunity for local and community organisations is key to our work”

When asked how the fair has changed since it began, Mr Wilson replied “The biggest change is the venue.  We moved from the assembly rooms, very grand, to St Paul’s and St George’s about 10 years ago.  We were concerned that this might make it less good, but it hasn’t.  It’s a little bit more intimate and personal and the public and stall holders love it”

When asked about stall holders that he was excited about Mr Wilson commented “All of them!  Genuinely!  The variety is amazing, which is what we want.  It’s also great to connect and chat to so many of the stall holders – great not just for the public but its also a great sector networking event”

The recruitment fair was held in St Paul’s and St George’s Church on York Place on Wednesday the 13th of September from 10.30am until 6.30pm. A total of 500 members of the public attended the fair. In addition, the Lord Provost also attended and spoke to the stall holders.