A RANGE of partners have come together to celebrate the contribution of Stirling volunteers to local communities.

Stirling Council, Volunteer Scotland and Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise are spreading the message that ambitions to make the area a volunteering centre of excellence are alive in well in 2020.

It comes after Stirling narrowly missed out on being named European Volunteering Capital for 2020 to the Italian city of Padua, but the drive to promote volunteering locally along with the range of benefits remains crucial.

Councillor Chris Kane, convener of the Planning and Regeneration Committee at the local authority, said: “We want to celebrate the volunteers in our communities, the incredible impact they have and their importance in society.

“We then want to harness that and unlock the potential in others to make Stirling alive with volunteering.

“Volunteering has great benefits to everyone involved, especially for your mental health and wellbeing.

“So whether you volunteer formally through a local group, or simply act as a good neighbour, 2020 is going to be a big year for us all, and I’m excited to see the positive impact increasing volunteering in Stirling will have on our communities.”

A Facebook page titled Stirling Alive with Volunteering is a handy source for opportunities in the local area.

George Thomson, chief executive of Volunteer Scotland, added: “Stirling Alive with Volunteering is a unique, localised approach to volunteering that places community building at its heart.

“What’s more, the work that’s going on across Stirling to grow volunteering and strengthen communities will be showcased at a national volunteering expo in Stirling this autumn and an international volunteering expo in 2021.

“Stirling could well become recognised locally, nationally and internationally as an exemplar of how volunteering can bring community spirit to life.”