Partners, Funders and Supporters
Following a hugely successful pilot in 2017, which coincided with the 70th anniversaries of the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Festival City Volunteers project continues with the invaluable support of many local and national organisations.
From the very beginning, the role of Volunteer Edinburgh and The City of Edinburgh Council as partners alongside Festivals Edinburgh has been crucial in the development and delivery of all aspects of the project.
“Volunteer Edinburgh is delighted to be a partner in the Festival City Volunteers programme.” said their Director of Services Marion Findlay, “We recruit, train and engage a team of people of varied background, age, nationality and experience. What they share is local knowledge, a passion for Edinburgh, a friendly smile and a willingness to welcome visitors to the city.
“In the weeks and months following each August, Volunteer Edinburgh continue to work with participants and help them to build on their FCV experience. This includes support to find new volunteering opportunities which develop skills, confidence and employability or help to keep you healthy and connected to the wider community.”
...local knowledge, a passion for Edinburgh, a friendly smile and a willingness to welcome visitors...
The chance for those living locally to be actively involved in the Festivals, be ambassadors for Edinburgh and shape the project itself, was important to The City of Edinburgh Council, who funded the pilot in 2017 and continue as project partners.
Councillor Donald Wilson, Convener of its Culture and Communities Committee explained: “This initiative provides local people with the chance to be part of the beating heart of Edinburgh in August, and the first year’s volunteers played an active role shaping the scheme. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with many saying their time spent being an ambassador increased their pride and self-confidence.
“It really is a good example of how such schemes are able to work positively in partnership with volunteer organisations to promote skills development and career opportunities.”
The Festival City Volunteers current core funder is The National Lottery Community Fund - formerly known as the Big Lottery Fund - who awarded a two year grant for 2018 and 2019. In 2018 the project also received funding from Spirit of 2012.
Maureen McGinn, Scotland Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund commented: “We were delighted to award a grant of £140,000 to Festivals Edinburgh to support the expansion of their volunteering programme in 2018 and into 2019, across five of Edinburgh’s cultural events.
“We know projects like this are important because, over the years, National Lottery funding has regularly supported initiatives that encourage people from all backgrounds to start volunteering and develop both their skills and confidence.
“I warmly welcome Festival City Volunteers - an exciting and inclusive initiative that will remove many barriers which can prevent people from volunteering. Becoming a volunteer can be a life changing experience.”
...becoming a volunteer can be a life changing experience...
Debbie Lyle, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012, reflected: “As a funder of other major events volunteering programmes including the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and Hull City of Culture 2017, we know the multiple benefits of such schemes.
“Volunteers develop new skills and confidence, which boosts their physical and mental wellbeing, while the impact is also felt more widely in better-connected communities and a renewed sense of civic pride.
“Volunteering can transform towns and cities, which is why we’re very proud to have supported Edinburgh’s Festival City Volunteers programme.”
Lothian Buses have been enthusiastic supporters of the Festival City Volunteers from the start, and they continue to provide travel passes for their network to volunteers to and from their shifts.
The Volunteers even sported Lothian’s iconic Madder shade as the team's t-shirt colour in 2017 and built strong relationships with drivers and Travelshop staff.
“Our services are integral to city life and we’re really committed to delivering a fantastic experience for visitors to Edinburgh.” said Lothian Communications Director Gaynor Marshall, “Supporting the Festival City Volunteers Project is a perfect match with what we’re trying to achieve as a business.
“It’s also a great way to reach out to the local community and involve Edinburgh residents, who are often the greatest ambassadors for our amazing city and all that it has to offer.”
...a great way to reach out to the local community and involve Edinburgh residents, who are often the greatest ambassadors for our amazing city...
Links with Edinburgh Airport began in 2018 with the project receiving funding through the Airport's Community Fund. This support continues into 2019.
Edinburgh Airport Chief Executive Gordon Dewar said of the relationship: “Edinburgh's people are a key part of the attraction for tourists and festival goers and the festival season shows the city at its vibrant and entertaining best.
“The volunteers play an incredibly important part in that experience by becoming a focal point and representatives of Edinburgh – it’s a fantastic project and we’re glad to be supporting it.”
A huge thank you to the funders and supporters who make the Festival City Volunteer project possible.
Our Project Partners
The City of Edinburgh Council
The National Lottery Community Fund