Scottish Conservative MSP Russell Findlay visited Paisley’s British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop to see first-hand the invaluable role of their staff and helpers.

The visit took place ahead of Volunteers Week which runs from 1st – 7th June 2022 to celebrate the contribution of volunteers across the UK.

In Scotland, around 1,400 volunteers regularly give up their time to help the BHF in its 75 Scottish shops.

The West Scotland MSP, along with newly elected Councillor John Gray, heard about the role of volunteers from shop manager Jo Lafferty.

BHF shops saves good quality items from going to landfill which helps create a sustainable circular economy – while also funding life-saving research.

In a typical year, BHF prevents around 7,500 tonnes of goods going to waste and through the re-sale of donated goods, saving an estimated 14,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Heart disease is a major cause of ill health in Scotland and BHF is funding around £60million worth of projects in 10 Scottish universities.

Their research work is only possible thanks to volunteers and the generosity of the Scottish public.

Russell Findlay MSP said: “We learned so much from our visit to the BHF Scotland shop in Paisley which generates vital income for the charity’s life-saving research into heart and circulatory diseases.

“Shop manager Jo gave us an insightful behind-the-scenes tour and explained how they are determined find a use for almost every donated item.

“We also heard how crucial volunteers are to keep the doors open. Community-spirited volunteers like those in Paisley selflessly give up their time for charities across Scotland who may otherwise struggle to provide crucial support.

“I’m delighted to support the important work of BHF Scotland and am full of admiration for the vital contribution of Scotland’s volunteers.”

Councillor John Gray, who represents Renfrew North and Braehead, said: “It was fascinating hearing about how the charity finds a way to put unwanted items to good use and learn about the critical role of volunteers.”

Jonathan Roden, BHF Scotland policy and public affairs manager, said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our shops. They help us raise money to power life-saving science to save and improve more lives.

“For more than 60 years, your support has helped the BHF turn research that once seemed like ‘science fiction’ into reality and we need your help now more than ever.”

Main Photo (top of page): (L-R) – Councillor John Gray, Jonathan Roden, Jo Lafferty, Russell Findlay MSP
Photo Credit: Renfrewshire Conservatives