SCOTLAND'S Festival of Volunteering is set to return to the Forth Valley for a third year in a row.

Bigger than ever, the festival, developed by Volunteer Scotland, will now run for the whole of September in Stirling and South Ayrshire.

Stirling's festivities will kick off in style on September 3 with an award ceremony at Hotel Colessio to recognise and reward the efforts of local volunteers.

For the first time the prestigious invite-only event, run by Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise in partnership with Stirling Council, will focus on teams rather than individual volunteers to recognise the differences that volunteering makes when people work together.

During the second week of the festival (September 9-15), 14 local organisations from across Forth Valley will be given the chance to take over the Festival's Pop Up stand in Stirling's Thistles shopping centre to promote their volunteering opportunities, showcase their work and celebrate the work of volunteers.

Margaret Starkie, strategic engagement manager for Volunteer Scotland said: "This year the festival will take place in two local authority areas for the first time.

"We've engaged with over 4,000 people and nearly 200 organisations since we launched our first festival in September 2017 and hope that, year on year, more communities across Scotland will adopt our festival approach to increasing volunteer participation.

"Anyone can get involved and festivals can be any size, from a single community event to a month-long celebration."