Welcome to our Story Tree

Little did we know back in January 2018, when we first collected in the branches from Arthurs Seat and carefully attached paper cherry blossom that one year on the tree would have passed through so many hands and given life to so many thoughts and ideas. The branches were first used at an event at Northfield and Willowbrae when local residents used the Chinese New Year to celebrate the coming together of local projects, schools, older people and businesses to look at how they could work together to tackle loneliness in the area. The year was to be the year of the dog (a year celebrating honesty, friendliness, faithfulness, loyalty and responsibility). The first leaves to grow on the tree were covered in messages from local residents including their hopes and dreams for the area and what they loved about it.

After this initial event the tree was transplanted to the Chinese School in Edinburgh where it took center stage in their New Year celebrations.

Fast forward to October 2018 when Volunteer Edinburgh gave the tree a new lease of life and used it to hang 150 volunteering quotes from its branches in recognition of the life changing impact volunteering can have on people’s lives and to mark Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations’ Council (EVOC) turning 150 years old. Scroll through the slider above to view photos of the tree and click on one of the images to view a larger version.

It seems only appropriate that this design should now form the structure behind our myvolunteering site, celebrating volunteering and the impact it has on individuals.

This is a creative space where we want to share what volunteering means to people. Not so much what they do but what gets them involved in the first place and why they continue to do it. The personal journeys, the triumphs and the challenges they overcome along the way. The experiences and the life changing impact it can have not just on those that receive the support from volunteers but on the very people who give up their time to volunteer every hour of every day of the year.

It is a space to share stories of recovery, love, kindness and hope that continue to inspire and aid people in finding their place in society, and to feel valued and connected.

As no two volunteers are the same, no two stories are the same so each leaf on the tree will take you in a different direction.

Please take a moment to stop and look beyond the leaves and branches that spread out across the homepage and discover the lives behind Edinburgh’s very own volunteers.

Want to Contribute?

If you have something to say, a quote, a poem, a picture you would like to share, or maybe even a song then we would love to hear from you. Just complete the contact form below and we will be in touch.

Want us to come to you? We have a group of Volunteer Ambassadors that are available to meet with your group so please get in touch below and we will arrange a visit.

Where Next?

Seedling

Seedling

We have planted a tree that we hope will grow and take on a life of it’s own.

We hope you will start to share this page with people you know and help us spread the message of how life transforming volunteering can be.

Please help us to spread the word by sharing this site and the posts on social media using our hashtags #VolunteerForHealth and #VolunteerForEmployability.

For now we will add new quotes and stories from people we are working with but we hope we have provided you with the inspiration and format to share you own story right here. As you add your stories our knowledge, voice and influence grow.

Sapling

Sapling

Our hope for this year is to secure funding to employ an artist in residence to help us take these stories and produce a bigger piece of work with a wider reach so keep in touch to find out how we are getting on.

Mature Tree

Mature Tree

We hope to build connections across Scotland, the UK and overseas through volunteer storytelling.

Cuttings

Cuttings

If you want us to come and visit to help you set up a similar project then please get in touch below.

Find Out More

You can find out more about us and the enormous benefits volunteering can have on the Volunteer Edinburgh site here or on our social media pages (links below).

If you have something to say, a quote, a poem, a picture you would like to share, or maybe even a song then we would love to hear from you. Just complete the contact form below and we will be in touch.
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