PEOPLE in Stirling are being asked to help give a “heartfelt thanks“ to those who give up their time to help others ahead of Volunteers' Week.

Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise (SVE) has joined forces with Stirling Council in a bid to recognise the efforts of people who give up their free time and offer their skills to help others.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, just under 40 per cent of local residents volunteered with a range of organisations – 10 per cent higher than the national average.

And in the past two months, communities have risen to the challenge with nearly 800 people registering with the council to give their time alongside a network of local groups.

They have been a part of the effort to protect vulnerable people, dropping off shopping, picking up prescriptions, comforting others on the phone or even just walking the dog.

Natalie Masterson, chief executive at SVE, said: “Volunteers contribute their energy and passion to helping others, this is true yearlong, but it has never been more evident than in the community response to the pandemic.

“All volunteers deserve our heartfelt thanks for their community spirit and dedication.

“As we look to the future we hope that volunteering will continue in even greater numbers helping communities to recover and renew.”

With Volunteers' Week starting on Monday, June 1, the local authority and SVE are determined to mark the occasion with a message of inclusion.

People are invited to join a virtual thank you to the volunteers across the area by recording messages and submitting them to be shared on social media.

Councillor Chris Kane, convener of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee at the council, added: “Volunteering is a powerful and practical way we can all create and foster community pride.

“Volunteers are always there when we need them and our communities are stronger, brighter and more resilient because of them.

“In this current crisis, volunteering makes us feel empowered to help in the fight against an unseen enemy.

“Volunteering invigorates the soul.

“Volunteers never ask for thanks but it is right that we recognise them during volunteer week, because without volunteers, our communities and our lives would be much diminished.”

People looking to give thanks can email to or post videos on Twitter or Facebook during Volunteers Week tagging them with #VolunteersWeekScot or #stirlingvolunteer, making sure the post is set to public on Facebook so it can be shared.