Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart has today paid tribute to Shetland’s Third Sector response the Covid-19 pandemic. Ms Wishart was speaking in a debate in Holyrood on “Valuing the Third Sector”.
Ms Wishart used her speech to highlight the high level of volunteering in Shetland. According to the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, there are 232 charities in Shetland; only the Western Isles has more per 1,000 population. It is estimated that 55% of adults in Shetland volunteer formally, almost double the national average. Ms Wishart also highlighted Voluntary Action Shetland’s Community Spirit Awards 2020. 59 awards were handed out to individuals, organisations and businesses, recognising their contribution to their communities during the pandemic.
Ms Wishart called on the Scottish Government to provide the Third Sector with as much certainty as possible with regard to funding to recognise the difference they make, the demand they respond to and the need for continuity of services.
Commenting, Ms Wishart said:
“Volunteers and organisations in Shetland have gone above and beyond over the last eight months to help out people needing some extra support because of the pandemic. We have seen just how invaluable the Third Sector is, and I extend my thanks to the many individuals and organisations for all that they have done and continue to do .
“In return, the Third Sector needs as much funding certainty as possible from government. Many organisations will have seen a substantial increase in demand for their support services in recent months at the same time as fundraising opportunities have reduced. They need to be able to make long-term plans for continuity of services.”