Figures collated by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) using data from OSCR, Volunteer Scotland, the TSI Network Scotland, and the Social Enterprise in Scotland Census have highlighted the crucial role of charities, social enterprises, and community groups in Scotland.

The data reveals that across South Scotland alone there are currently 3,317 registered charities, generating a combined annual income of £603,355,776, and 1,045 social enterprises operating across the TSI area.

Along with employing 17,657 paid staff, an amazing 217,538 people from across the area also support organisations by volunteering their time and skills to help people, communities and groups, making an invaluable contribution to their local community in the process. Nationally, Scotland enjoys the benefits of over 40,000 voluntary sector organisations, employing over 100,000 paid staff – a similar number to the Scottish digital and technology sector.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and TSI Scotland Network believe that sharing this data will further highlight the indispensable contribution of the voluntary sector, particularly over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, during which charities and voluntary organisations, both local and national, have played a vital role across Scotland.

Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“I welcome the figures produced by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), particularly those that highlight the invaluable contribution that charities and voluntary organisations make in South Scotland. The voluntary sector has been crucial throughout this pandemic, both in the local area and nationwide, and it’s important that we not just recognise that incredible contribution, but also explore how the Scottish Parliament can work better with the sector to maximise these efforts.”

Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) said:

“We know that the voluntary sector is a major player in Scotland in terms of economic impact and employment. Our recent #NeverMoreNeeded campaign highlighted how crucial the sector has been during the pandemic across the country, and continues to be essential in recovery. These findings highlight not only how vital charities, social enterprises and community groups are in South Scotland, but also the level of local support provided to these organisations through volunteering, which is really encouraging.”

A spokesperson for the TSI Network said:

“Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector is a key asset in our communities, even more so over the last two years, but it is one which is often underestimated and overlooked. We hope that this data, which shows the size and scale of the sector, can emphasise just how vital the sector is and how much it supports us all, both locally and nationally.”