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13 September 2017

Serve Scotland: MSPs commend work of faith groups in Scotland

Serve Scotland: MSPs commend work of faith groups in Scotland

Parliament chair Ken Macintosh visits the Serve Scotland exhibition in Holyrood.

Kate Forbes MSP has commended the work of church organisations and faith groups in a debate at Holyrood.

MSPs heard that volunteers are giving almost £100m in time and resources each year to social action projects across Scotland.

An exhibition on the work of Serve Scotland will run at Holyrood for a week.

Kate Forbes MSP said: "Across Scotland, there are individuals who prioritise somebody else's wellbeing and comfort over their own, as they volunteer with faith-based organisations.

"Serve Scotland is a network of organisations whose aims range from feeding hungry families, to providing night shelters. 

"Many of these organisations are well-known, like Blythswood Care, Trussell Trust Foodbanks and Bethany Christian Trust.

"These volunteers follow in the footsteps of people who have been a voice for the voiceless and advocates for the marginalised, as churches continue to work across Scotland to relieve poverty, house the homeless, support those with addictions and feed the hungry."

Research by the Cinnamon Network showed that nearly three-quarters of Scotland's churches have projects that meet local social needs.

Fred Drummond, Scotland director at the Evangelical Alliance and chair of Serve Scotland, said: "Our own initial survey work has uncovered over 250 local projects in every Scottish constituency.

"We know this is just scratching the surface with work by the Cinnamon Network indicating that there are an estimated 9,000 community projects in Scotland contributing over 11 million hours of service to local communities with an economic impact of almost £100 million annually."

Fred continued: "It's time to celebrate those who selflessly give of their time to love and serve their neighbour.

"And it is fitting that this hidden army of community heroes should get the recognition they deserve in our national parliament this week. 

"Christians are motivated by their faith in Jesus to do this good work and it's clear Scotland would be far the poorer place without it." 

You can find out more about Serve Scotland on their website: servescotland.org