LEVELS of volunteering in the Wee County have reached the highest on record with nearly a third of local people giving up their time to help good causes.

The announcement came from Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface (CTSi), showing that numbers increased by seven per cent when compared to 2016-17.

The figure moved from 25 per cent of the Wee County volunteering to 32 per cent, meaning just under 17,000 people gave their time and skills for free.

For Anthea Coulter, chief officer and business manager at CTSi, unveiling the numbers was an early Christmas present.

She said: “It is a testament to the hard work of the CTSi staff team that we have had such a significant increase in volunteering in the 2016-17 year.

“The team, led by Louise Orr, has combined increased promotion of roles, creation of wider variety of roles and support to volunteering involving organisations to bring this about.

“I am hoping that the addition of the youth volunteer development officer this year will see the increase continue and the benefits of volunteering be enjoyed by more people locally in the future.”

The figures had been static for many years, albeit with 2015-16 experiencing a drop.

However, 2016-17 then saw a huge rise with an additional 4,000 people taking on roles as volunteers.

Anthea added: “Even a conservative calculation of the value of the volunteering at four hours a week at living wage level means that this has the additional economic benefit of £7,201,200 a year, taking the overall economic benefit of volunteering to the county, to over £30.8million.”

As for the future, the team at CTSi are hoping to take it to the next level in coming years.

“We are keen to see this continue and reach the 35 per cent or even 40 per cent level in the next few years," Anthea said.

“If anyone would like to take up volunteering in the new year as a new year resolution, then get in touch, follow our Facebook page for opportunities or drop in to our volunteer service from 10-2pm on a Tuesday.”

For more details, get in touch with Louise Orr, Alice Watkin or Lesley Jack via admin@ctsi.org.uk or call 01259 213 840.