Volunteers’ Week 2024

Celebrating this year’s Volunteers’ Week we have to reveal big secret of our success. In addition to our small team of staff members (seven, soon to be eight), we rely on the network of fantastic individuals who joined the team of our extended family (known as ‘volunteers’) who make our services so effective. Many thing we have achieved wouldn’t be possible without them!

Our organisation currently has 66 active volunteers located in many different places in Scotland, from Highlands to Scottish Borders, from Western Isles to Aberdeen. They collectively speak 18 different languages. It is thanks to their dedication and commitment that our organisation has been so successful in working with EU communities in the past couple of years.

As the complexity of cases continues to rise, our team relies on the support of OISC registered volunteers to assist in the follow-up process. Their primary responsibility is to engage with clients, facilitate communication and aid in the collection of necessary evidence to bolster their applications. Without their support, our team, which is primarily based in Edinburgh, wouldn’t be able to be so effective in providing help to clients from other areas of Scotland.

Our volunteers are also huge help in providing language support to our clients who speak other languages that our advisors. This way we can help individuals in their own language and gain their trust throughout the entire process, as they feel much more comfortable when speaking with someone from their nationality. Multilingual volunteers are also instrumental in providing outreach to different communities by translating our social media content and distributing it to various groups and pages that are followed by European communities in Scotland.

Having our volunteers in many locations in Scotland makes it easier to reach local communities far away from our main office in Edinburgh. It would not be so easy to distribute our leaflets and posters across the country if not for their local connections. With many of our clients still facing language and IT barriers it is crucial to remember that it is not enough to advertise our services on social media but equally important is to work in the local neighbourhoods. Some of our volunteers were representing our organisation at the local events raising awareness about Citizens Rights Project.

Over the past several years we have managed to recruit our volunteers not only among the members of the European communities in Scotland, but also professionals who were already experienced in providing support to vulnerable individuals (including EU nationals) and were very keen to gain new knowledge of immigration matters. Recently, we have been able to use the expertise of few of our volunteers in organising free workshops on matters such as housing rights or access to benefits.

We cannot forget about our past volunteers who supported us tirelessly since 2019, but due to different reasons had to stop their activity. Some of them had their priorities verified by the pandemic, some of them had to come back to their home countries, but they will all remain in our warm memories.

If you would like to become a part of our volunteering family, contact us on info@citizensrightsproject.org