ProjectScotland takes funding fight direct to Holyrood

More than 60 volunteers lobby MSPs to reinstate finance for charity

Volunteering charity ProjectScotland will send more than 60 of its volunteers to the Scottish Parliament today to lobby MSPs to reinstate its funding.

The volunteers will tell MSPs in private meetings about their positive experiences with the charity in a bid to gain parliamentary support for a renewal of government funds, which ended on 1 April.

ProjectScotland received £1.4m in funding from the Scottish Government in 2008/09.

Labour MSP Bill Butler has given his support to the campaign and urged ministers to spend time meeting the volunteers.

In a Scottish Parliament debate last week, he said the decision to stop funding the charity "placed the long-term future of the life-changing organisation in serious doubt".

During the debate, Jim Mather, minister for enterprise, energy and tourism, said ProjectScotland placements were less cost-effective than those run by the Millennium Volunteering scheme, but that he would try to find time to meet the ProjectScotland volunteers.  

A Scottish Government spokesman said it had decided to use a wider range of providers to support volunteering.

He added that the government was appreciative of ProjectScotland's work in raising the profile of volunteering among young people.

A spokeswoman for ProjectScotland said: "Given the current climate of rising youth unemployment, we are pleased we have this opportunity to showcase the work of ProjectScotland and raise our profile with potential funders."

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