Free Open University Course- Keeping Volunteers Safe

Volunteer Scotland are offering many free online training courses, including this one in conjunction with the open university.  Click link to find out more.

Working with the Open University (Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership at The Open University Business School) we have created this space for you to learn at your own pace, at a venue of your choice and with time built in for you to reflect.

All of our online courses are free and we aim to encourage you to think about the; volunteer voice, how these learning topics impact on your current situation and discuss the ideas and concepts within your club, group or organisation.

We hope you enjoy these courses and would welcome any feedback as we are keen to learn and improve our offer.

Why choose an online course?

  • No need to spend time and money travelling.
  • Short session times mean you don’t need to take too much time out of your day.
  • Our courses are between 14 – 24 learning hours and they are open 24 hours a day, so you choose when to learn.
  • There will be time between courses to implement and reflect on practice.
  • You will make new contacts and have access to resources after the sessions.

Small environmental Grants still available

Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants are available to help local communities to respond to climate change. Funded by NatureScot, these grants will support volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and abilities in practical outdoor activities. Projects must conclude by February 2021.

Any group of volunteers can apply for Volunteering Matters Action Earth grants of between £50-250 to run environmental activities in Scotland’s green spaces. This could include creating or improving community gardens, wildflower meadows, ponds, woodlands or other wildlife habitats.

We also offer a limited number of Action Earth Enhanced Grants up to £500 for projects which can demonstrate a significant health impact through working with people who have defined health or social needs. Contact Robert Henderson if you wish to discuss eligibility and availability of this enhanced level grant.

Any successful grant award is issued on the condition that your planned project is carried out in line with Scottish and UK Government guidance and policy around COVID-19 at all times. We also recommend a gradual build-up of project activities, spread across smaller groups and activities and over longer periods than usual.

Halloween advice

Families and children are being urged to avoid guising this Halloween to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus (COVID-19). For Bonfire Night, the advice includes guidelines around group sizes, distancing and FACTS precautions to reduce the temptation for people to hold gatherings and firework displays in their back gardens.

For full guidance go to


British Red Cross

At the British Red Cross, we are committed to delivering help to those who need it most. Over the last few months, the number of people at risk of feeling lonely or isolated has increased – in some groups at a disproportionate rate – as connections with friends and family may have shifted or changed in light of restrictions.   

We have recently launched our new Tackling Loneliness Digitally program funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It particularly focusses on reaching young people, people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, the digitally excluded, refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants, people at risk of loneliness due to health issues and older people.  We have some exciting new online resources to help empower people who may be feeling lonely, and provide them with tools to build confidence, reach out to others and look to the future.    Please share these resources with your networks. All of our resources are free and can be found at Anyone wishing to be notified when we have new resources live on our website can sign up for updates.

Our new Loneliness Digital Classroom is now open for booking, where participants can explore how it might feel to be lonely or isolated and learn skills to help others who may be experiencing loneliness. There are two sessions available, one for children and young people aged 10-19 and one for adults aged 19+.  

Sessions can be booked by emailing or calling 0344 412 2734. 

We also have hard copy wellbeing packs available to those who cannot access online resources, if you would like some packs to distribute you can submit your request via our online forms. Click here to order packs for adults and here for packs for children and young people.