Solidarity

Why Solidarity?

I find the notion of charity a troubling one. It seems to embody a notion of the 'haves' helping out the 'have nots', an image of 'putting your arms around someone' instead of 'giving someone a leg up'. I therefore prefer to use the term solidarity - for me this is about standing together with people and organisations, acknowledging the two-way flow of energy and benefits. It represents moving toward a society where the principles of giving, volunteering and strengthening communities are a fundamental part of all of our lives.

Volunteering has always been a part of my life and been immensely formative in shaping who I am today. The organisations displayed here are those that have had most impact on me, and whose values I associate myself with most.

The mission
ShelterBox’s mission is to provide emergency shelter to families who have lost their home to disaster, enabling them to rebuild their lives. They go to hard to reach communities, often those overlooked by others, to provide vulnerable families with a place to call home. 

Every disaster is different and so is every community, so ShelterBox teams spend time with those affected to make sure they can offer the right support at the right time to help them recover.

My connection 
In 2019 I joined the ShelterBox Response Team. This means that I am part of the team ready to respond to natural disasters, to travel around the world and deliver shelter, tools and other essential items to the families who need them most.

How to get involved
There are some great ways to be involved with ShelterBox, such as joining their Book Club, making a donation, or signing up to their mailing list to keep up to date with operations. Click on the icon opposite to find out more.

The mission
Venture Scotland’s aim is to empower disadvantaged young people to first recognise their skills and strengths and then achieve their potential and in doing so, turn their lives around and make an active contribution to their local communities.

Each year, 100 young people aged 16-30 are supported to develop new life skills and build their confidence, improve their mental and physical health and increase their access to employment, training, education and volunteering. This is facilitated through a 12-month intensive outdoor based personal development programme known as “The Journey”.

My connection
Since moving to Edinburgh I have been volunteering with Venture Scotland as much as possible. This has mainly taken the form of supporting with activity days (hill walking, climbing, weaseling etc.), but also included stays at the bothy, where the group stays for a number of days to conclude each stage of their 12-month journey.

How to get involved
There are heaps of volunteering opportunities (both for those based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but also further afield). Click on the icon opposite to learn more.