Volunteering at the heart of the community

Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon has praised the invaluable role of volunteers during a visit to the British Heart Foundation Scotland’s shop in Hamilton – seeing first-hand how their efforts help raise vital funds for the charity’s lifesaving research into heart and circulatory diseases.

The Scottish Labour and Co-operative representative visited ahead of Volunteers’ Week (June 1 to 7) [1], marking the annual contribution of volunteers up and down the country.

In Scotland, around 14,000 volunteers regularly give up their time to help the BHF in its 75 Scottish shops.

During the visit, Monica heard more about the role of volunteers taking in donations from the local community and the incredible benefits of shopping preloved, preventing good quality items from going to landfill, creating a sustainable, circular economy and saving money, while also funding the BHF’s lifesaving research.

In a year, the BHF saves around 71,000 tonnes of goods going to waste and through the reuse and recycling of donated items, helps prevent 135,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions being released into the atmosphere.

The charity will also sell over half a million pieces of living room furniture and 14,000 tonnes of preloved clothes from its stores.

Heart disease is a major cause of ill health in Scotland and the BHF is currently funding around £60 million worth of projects in ten Scottish universities. This work is only made possible thanks to the huge generosity of the Scottish public.

Monica Lennon said: “It was wonderful to spend some time in Hamilton’s BHF shop and witness first-hand the impact its volunteers have. I was particularly inspired by their efforts to support BHF’s role in the reuse revolution and creating a sustainable Scotland.

“It was also lovely to see how much support the shop receives from the local community, by way of donations and shopping – both helping to fund BHF’s invaluable research.”

Jonathan Roden, BHF Scotland’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager, said: “It was great to welcome Monica to our Hamilton shop and talk about the crucial support of our fantastic volunteers here and right across Scotland.

“It goes without saying that volunteers are the lifeblood of our shops. Every hour donated makes a difference. It helps us raise money to power lifesaving science to save and improve more lives.

“Across Scotland around 700,000 people are living with heart and circulatory diseases. Your gift of time can help us, help them.  For more than 60 years, your support has helped the BHF turn research that once seemed like ‘science fiction’ into reality and we need your help now more than ever.”


Notes to Editor:

  1. https://volunteersweek.org/about-volunteers-week/what-is-volunteers-week/