Volunteers are at the heart of what we do at PAS. From planners, to students, to artists, to facilitators, each one of our volunteers brings their unique set of skills and expertise to help communities become better involved in planning and placemaking. We have a unique volunteer programme which allows you to volunteer flexibly and to suit your lifestyle and interests.
In recognition of our commitment to volunteering, we achieved Investing in Volunteers accreditation three times. We continue to invest in developing best practices to support our volunteers in their volunteering and more broadly.
Are you an existing PAS volunteer?
Interested in Volunteering ? Why volunteer?
Learn Something New
Whether your CV needs extra pizazz to help you land your dream job; or you want to climb up the job ladder; or keep your skills cutting-edge, volunteering at PAS can help you get where you want to be.
Our volunteering programme helps you hone skills which set you up for professional success. Helping members of the public engage with planning, facilitating community workshops and teaching placemaking in schools are some of the things you can further your experience in.
Get Relevant CPD
We hold in the region of 25 Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events for our volunteers per year based around planning-related topics and soft skills. Some of these events are held by PAS staff and others by guest speakers who are experts in their field. These events help you develop knowledge to be the best volunteer you can be, and – bonus – they help in your professional life too! Examples include:
- Facilitation Station – we introduce you to some basic facilitation skills and look at how we can use these in an online environment
- Youth Engagement – a session on how PAS can and have engaged youths and planning and placemaking. This helps you learn how to be a Youth Engagement Volunteer at PAS
- 20 Minute Neighbourhoods – the 20 minute neighbourhood idea features strongly in the Draft NPF4, so could become a feature of development plans and a consideration in development management. How practical is the idea? Can it be applied in rural areas as well as cities?
Gain Fresh Perspectives
Whether you’re a student or a retired planner, there’s always new something new to discover as a PAS volunteer! At PAS you can keep your knowledge up to date and discover other people’s – be it professionals or members of the public – perspectives on planning topics.
Volunteering helps you grow as a person. Research also shows people who volunteer tend to be more satisfied with their lives and have better overall health than those who don’t volunteer.
Grow your Network
PAS has a network of around 400 volunteers, from all sorts of different planning places. Volunteering provides you with the opportunity to connect with other professionals who also volunteer. You can grow your professional network and strike up some friendships.
As a volunteer, you’re also likely to meet great individuals and community groups across the county.
Help People get their Plans off the Ground
Your expertise as a planner can have an enormously positive impact on people’s lives. For example, our Advice Service volunteers help individuals and community groups across Scotland understand planning processes and resolve their enquiries. What might just take a short phone call for you can make all the difference to a member of the public who has no knowledge of the planning system.
How can I get involved?
We welcome all kinds of different people to support us deliver our services. Here is some information about the roles we have available. Depending on your skills, knowledge and interests, you can volunteer in roles including:
- Community Engagement and Charette volunteer – take part in projects we hold in local communities. This can include facilitating workshops with locals; keeping a written record of conversations to shape the project; or welcoming and orienting people in workshops
- Advice Service volunteer – if you’re RTPI chartered, help members of the public and community groups by providing planning and placemaking advice
- Youth volunteer – if you are aged between 16 – 25 years old, get involved in our unique programme empowering young people to become knowledgeable and involved in town planning
- Education volunteer – bring your energy into our school and youth workshops to introduce children and young people to town planning and support them having their views heard
- Training volunteer – introduce groups including Community Councils and Elected Members to what planning is and what they need to know to fulfil their roles.
Where do I start?
For a friendly chat about volunteering and to find out which opportunities could suit you, please contact Fleur Dijkman, Volunteers and Youth Programmes Manager at email@example.com.