Date lodged: 3 June 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the criteria to qualify for support from the Volunteering Support Fund.
Answered by: Angela Constance 16 June 2016
The Volunteering Support Fund (VSF) provides £1.1 million per annum to support delivery of the following outcomes, which were agreed with the third sector:
Third sector organisations create new volunteering projects, increasing the diversity of volunteers, especially those from disadvantaged groups.
Third sector organisations provide improved opportunities for skills and personal development through volunteering.
Third sector organisations improve their capacity to deploy and support volunteers;
By involving volunteers; third sector organisations enhance the services they deliver to better meet the needs of the communities they operate within.
Following a consultation of a wide range of stakeholders the Scottish Government set out the broad criteria for support from the VSF in the tender document as part of the standard Scottish Government procurement arrangements. The detailed eligibility criteria were set out by Voluntary Action Fund (VAF) in their tender submission to the Scottish Government.
The VSF has been in operation for four years and the operation of the fund is discussed in regular engagement between Scottish Government and VAF. Regular reports are submitted to the Scottish Government in compliance with the terms and conditions of the contract and recommendations have consistently been of a minor technical nature. The Scottish Government has received no representations seeking a review of the eligibility criteria.
The current Volunteer Support Fund will cease on 31 March 2017 and the level of support provided for the fund in subsequent years will be carefully considered as part of the forthcoming spending review process. We will look at how the fund has operated, the impact it has had, what would contribute to improvement and consider what changes, if any, ought to be considered to support volunteering in the period ahead. In this context we would expect to consider the focus, eligibility criteria and outcomes of any future funding.