Volunteering

Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things that you can do, and thinking about how you want to benefit from volunteering is a good start to finding an opportunity that's right for you. Volunteering can help you; to gain confidence; make a real difference to people, communities and society; meet new people; be part of a community; learn new skills; take on a new challenge; and perhaps most importantly, have fun. 

Volunteering opportunities are available through Clydesdale Community Initiatives – CCI, in conjunction with the Community Action Lanarkshire project, as listed below. To find out details on how you can organise your own volunteer community clean-ups, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Further volunteering opportunities in North and South Lanarkshire can be viewed at Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire (VASLAN) and Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire (VANL).

Join in with environmental volunteering opportunities with Clydesdale Community Initiatives and Community Action Lanarkshire

Lend a hand with Forth Eco Project Growers

Environmental Volunteering at Loudon Pond, Douglas Water

Environmental Volunteering at Loudon Pond, Douglas Water

Environmental Volunteering at Loudon Pond, Douglas Water

Join Clydesdale Community Initatives and local volunteers to help clear paths to get access to Loudon Pond nature reserve on Wednesday, 14 November 10am-2.30pm. Meeting point at the entrance to Loudon Pond.

All tools will be provided. Please wear weather appropriate clothing. Please contact CCI to book a place or for further details on 01555 664 211 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Community Gardening at Kirkfieldbank Park

Community Gardening at Kirkfieldbank Park

Community Gardening at Kirkfieldbank Park

Are you a pupil at the local school or a member of the community and interested in gardening? Come and join Clydesdale Community Initiatives (CCI) and Kirkfieldbank Community Group to help tidy the Kirkfieldbank sensory garden on Tuesday 28th August from 10am-12.30pm.

In addition to the gardening session there is also a fruit tree pruning training session on the morning of Tuesday 23rd October from 10am-12pm. This will be led by CCI Horticulturist Catherine McCluskey with CCI gardening group members also attending.

Gardening tools will be provided but feel free to bring your own! Please wear weather appropriate clothing. Please contact CCI to book a place or for further details on 01555 664 211 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Help local groups with the apple season

Help local groups with the apple season

Help local groups with the apple season

Join Clydesdale Community Initiatives and Clyde Valley Orchards Co-operative help pick apples from the orchards in the Clyde Valley with apple pressing days to follow.

Apple picking - meeting place at Dobbies Car Park, 10am-2.30pm, dates as follows:

Thursday, 27 September

Wednesday, 3 October

Wednesday, 10 October

Other dates may follow dependent on volume of apple crops.

Apple pressing at Clydesdale Community Initiatives, Langloch Farm, Lanark, 10am-2pm, dates as follows:

Tuesday, 2 October

Tuesday, 16 October

All tools will be provided. Please wear weather appropriate clothing.

Please contact CCI to book a place or for further details on 01555 664 211 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Starting up your own community clean-up group

Perhaps you'd like to start up your own volunteer community clean-up group. Here's how to get started.

What help is available?

What help is available?
Communities and local groups play a vital role in keeping towns, villages and the countryside clean and tidy. It makes them pleasant for people to live in and visit. A local clean-up is a great way to improve your neighbourhood and get everyone in your community together. Everybody can make a contribution, whatever their age or abilities. And it’s a great way for people to get to know one another.

Local councils are keen to support local people and community organisations to do their bit and if you are planning a community clean-up in your area, you can contact your local council who can provide you with all the equipment needed for a successful event, including waste bags, litter pickers, high-vis vests and protective gloves. Your local council can also arrange to uplift of full litter bags once collected. To get help from your local council for your clean-up event, contact:

South Lanarkshire Council: Colin Reid, 01355 578 711 / 01555 667 958, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

North Lanarkshire Council: Gordon Bruce, 01698 355 228 / 07939 280 344 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You should have the following information to hand:

  • The area(s) which will be cleaned up

  • Numbers of children / adults taking part

  • An address for delivery / uplift of equipment

  • Dates and times of clean up events

If rubbish and fly-tipping in the area in question is a persistant problem requiring action, report it through Dumb Dumpers, the fly tipping hotline.

Things to consider when planning an event

Things to consider when planning an event
Before the event: First of all, decide what needs to be done. Make sure you can do what you need in the time you have available. If the job is too big to complete in a day, break it up into chunks that you can complete over a number of sessions. When you have decided what you need to do, you need to think about who is going to carry out the various tasks. For example, you should allocate people to organise equipment, carry out risk assessments (if required) and arrange refreshments. Timing is important too. Think about holding the event at a time when most of the people you need will be able to attend, such as an evening or a weekend.

During the event: You should identify one person who will lead the event on the day. It will be their responsibility to co-ordinate the volunteers and to know what the emergency procedures are. Remember - A picture can tell a thousand words and can be useful for promoting other events in the future. Use photographs to record key moments. Also, if you send them to the local press you might get publicity for your achievements.

After the event: Try to report back to your volunteers on what the event achieved. You may also want to tell other people such as local councillors or other local groups. Make sure that one person gathers all of the records and keeps them in a safe place, as you will need them in the future.

Preparing a Risk Assesment

You should carry out a risk assessment before the event. This involves:

1. Identifying any hazards. Hazards could include unidentified cans or canisters, broken glass, syringes, clinical waste, etc.

2. Deciding who might be harmed and how

3. Evaluating the risks and deciding on precautions

4. Recording your findings and implementing them

5. Reviewing your assessment and updating it if necessary

Find out more and download a risk assessment template here.

Public liability insurance

If you are organising clean-up activities or working with members of the public, it is strongly recommended that you obtain liability insurance cover for your group. This is essential to avoid personal liability for damage to third party property or an injury to a member of the public arising from the group’s activities. If there is an accident and your group is not insured, it could be liable to compensate third parties.

Public liability insurance is the most common type of insurance used by small organisations. It protects the group for legal liabilities in respect of injury, death and loss or damage to property of the public affected by the work of the group. The cost will vary depending on the activities your organisation undertakes and the procedures your organisation follows to minimise risk. There are lots of companies that can provide insurance for this class of risk. Just search on the internet for voluntary group insurers.

If your group does not have insurance, make sure that all members of the group and any volunteers are made aware of this. If they are concerned, they should not get involved in the activity.

Hazardous waste

Make sure that everyone is aware of potentially dangerous items which they should not touch or pick up. If nasty or dangerous pieces of litter such as drums, cans or syringes are spotted at any stage during the pick-up, do not attempt to move them yourself. Make a note of their location and inform the council.

Top tips

  • Identify a first-aider for the event
  • Make sure all children are accompanied by adults
  • All participants should wash their hands thoroughly before eating or drinking. (You should also consider providing anti-bacterial wipes)
  • Appoint an event co-ordinator who will know the emergency procedures and to whom accidents should be reported
  • At the start of an event, make sure volunteers can handle tools and equipment properly and they understand any potential hazards associated with the work they will be doing

For more information and support, view the Keep Scotland Beautiful Clean Up Survey and Information Pack.

Good luck!

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