EventScotland and Volunteer Development Scotland (VDS) this week announced the launch of Event Team Scotland, a new online database to connect volunteers and events across Scotland.

‘Event Team Scotland’ will provide volunteers with varying levels of experience the opportunity to participate in sporting, cultural and charity events taking place across Scotland. For event organisers, the volunteering database will provide a bank of potential volunteers in local areas, regionally and across Scotland who can provide general or more specialist event support.

Shona Robison, Minister for Public Health said, “Volunteers will play a crucial role in the success of 2014. But we would encourage people to volunteer and be active in their local communities now which will give them valuable experience for applying as a volunteer at major events such as the Commonwealth Games in the future. This database provides an ideal platform for matching the skills of volunteers with the needs of major event organisers and will help leave a real legacy for volunteering across all of Scotland.”

Event Team Scotland provides a platform for the development and training of an experienced volunteer workforce in the years leading to Scotland hosting both the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The Games alone will require around 15,000 volunteers, and it is hoped they will go on to form part of a sustainable workforce for Scotland’s events industry in the years to come.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said, “Scotland’s events industry would not succeed without the hard work and commitment of volunteers. The support and skills that volunteers provide helps create the perfect stage for participants and spectators. Being part of some wonderful cultural and sporting events is very rewarding for those giving their time and skills. We hope Event Team Scotland will help more people share in the event experience.”

Volunteer Development Scotland, Scotland’s centre for volunteering excellence, will host the database as they continue to seek out new methods to modernise approaches to volunteering. Event Team Scotland is one in number of initiatives which VDS have developed to enhance and improve access to volunteering opportunities for both volunteers and event organisers. Once registered, users will be connected to a network of opportunities and event contacts across Scotland.

George Thomson, Chief Executive for Volunteer Development Scotland said, “We are continually working to drive forward modern, resourceful and creative approaches to volunteering for the people of Scotland and this new database is an example of our commitment to this. Volunteering is more important now than ever. It delivers a huge amount of benefits to public, private and charitable organisations right across Scotland and also benefits the individual. Not only can volunteering help develop skills and build confidence it can also create employment opportunities and help develop friendships and improve communities.

This year is the European Year of Volunteering, so we hope people across Scotland will make 2011 the year to get involved in volunteering and use the new database to find an opportunity that matches their lifestyle and personal interests.”

Amongst the organisations already registered on Event Team Scotland are Cycling Scotland for the freshnlo Pedal for Scotland charity ride between Glasgow and Edinburgh in September; Rare Management, for the Mountain Bike World Cup in June; and Traquair House for the Traquair Fair in August.   Events will be looking for people from a range of backgrounds including marshals, car park attendants, masseurs and bike mechanics.

David Grevemberg, Chief Operating Officer Glasgow 2014 said, “Volunteers will provide a key element of our workforce across a wide range of jobs, and it will be a fantastic opportunity for people from all walks of life to get involved in the Commonwealth Games.  Event Team Scotland, through the new volunteering database, will provide an excellent way for people to start volunteering, especially for those who haven’t done it before.  We are looking forward to working with Event Team Scotland when we actively start recruiting volunteers in 2012.”

The site is being launched today as the start of the year is seen as a peak time for volunteer registrations as people set their New Year’s resolutions and look to give something back to the community. Event Team Scotland is aiming to bridge the gap between those looking to provide help and those requiring it.

Event Team Scotland is being delivered by EventScotland in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland as A games legacy for Scotland programme.