WHEN they meet tomorrow, our councillors will consider accepting volunteer hours and reduced match funding from groups applying to the Area Committee Budget.
Each year our Area Committee has funds at its disposal to award to local groups. Last year a host of Stonehaven’s organisations benefitted from this funding source including: Panthers Basketball Club received £1,784.55 to replace basketball equipment; Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool, £3,984.53, to purchase paint for pool tank, terraces and paddling pool, re-vamp and upgrade garden frontage and perimeter; Stonehaven Tennis Club, £8,000 for resurfacing and upgrade to Courts 1-3, and associated drainage works.
In all, almost £80,000 was awarded to groups in the area – and a similar amount is available for 2021 – 2022.
Match funding headache
One problem groups faced in the past was the requirement to have matched funding in place – ie they could apply to the Area Committee Budget for only 50% of the project cost.
Tomorrow, our councillors will consider reducing the criteria for contributed funding to 25%.
And while volunteer time has always been considered as contribution in kind, the value of a volunteer’s time is being made more clear to make an application easier for community groups.
How are your volunteer hours valued?
According to the committee report, the value depends on the amount of training required for a volunteer task.
General, unskilled labour for example, ditch-digging, planting, basic administrative support can be booked at £9.50/ hour.
Specialist, skilled, trained labour such as operating dangerous equipment or driving off-road vehicles – £18.75
Specialist services including surveys, counts, printing, designing and photography – £31.25
And consultants, lawyers, planners, engineers, accountants, auditors who give of their professional time – £50.00
So I reckon this morning when doing some Horizon work, I was ‘earning’ £9.50 per hour. But right now tapping away at the keyboard, I’m raking in £31.25 per hour. I wish they had paid that when I worked at the Mearns Leader.
The Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meets tomorrow at 10am. The report for this item, which includes a list of all the awards made last year is available online – along with all agenda papers and a live link to the meeting.
Caption to feature image – Having put in at least an hour’s work each, these £9.50 /hour Horizon volunteers deserve a rest