Go Vegan Scotland is a grass-roots, vegan volunteer group, working to promote veganism in Scotland through advocacy, education and information sharing. We're all volunteers and no-one takes payment of any kind from GVS, in fact our volunteers often chip in for things with their own money.
Our focus is on person-to-person conversations, through our stalls and our other events (film nights, talks etc) all backed up with online information and support. We have our own website, which explains why we should all be vegan and how to live vegan, with a particular focus on Scotland (vegan menus at Scottish restaurants etc): www.goveganscotland.com, which we encourage vegans in Scotland to refer people to in their day-to-day vegan advocacy.
We have a very active Facebook page (/goveganscotland), Instagram and Twitter (@goveganscotland), where we share useful information to show how easy it is to be vegan and help people with any queries they have / challenges they're facing. We don't promote anything less than veganism (vegetarianism, baby steps, reduction, "higher welfare" etc). Our approach is always to explain in clear terms why we should all be vegan, as a matter of morality, but we also help people go vegan. We also have a YouTube channel, where you can find our talks and presentations.
Here we are having a planning meeting at Picnic in Glasgow last winter (obviously buying our own coffee and food - there are no expenses budgets at GVS!):
The main way you can help us is by becoming a regular volunteer on our vegan information stalls.
VEGAN INFORMATION STALLS
We have vegan information stalls regularly in Glasgow (three times a month) and Edinburgh (twice a month). We set up a table under a gazebo with leaflets and cards and a few food samples to make the table interesting and our "Vegan Information" signs draw people to us who have questions or challenges, who are curious or looking for support.
We've also been expanding out, holding pop-up stalls in other towns and cities. It's essential that people living outwith the central belt also have access to information and support and if we're to turn Scotland vegan; we need to ensure vegans are sprouting up all over the country, creating ripple effects in their towns as they convince others to go vegan and create demand for vegan options in local venues.
It's critical that we bring veganism to all communities. As the vast majority of our stalls are in city centres / high streets (as opposed to vegan festivals or paid events), our stalls are totally accessible and we're reaching a really good mix of people. e've been doing our stalls for nearly two years now and have learned a lot in that time. We know what works and we know how we want our stalls to be run. We're not controlling for the sake of it, but to ensure the stalls work well.
There's an optimum number of volunteers on any one stall and a balance to be struck in terms of regulars and new people who are learning about our approach.
There's also a learning curve in terms of getting to know our approach. The best way to learn is by going to a stall and buddying up with a regular, but we've also found that it's best if new volunteers have had a chance to read up on our guidelines and some of our recommended reading before coming to our stalls.
For all these reasons we organise all our volunteers through our volunteers group: https://m.facebook.com/groups/1498289253812147 If you'd like to volunteer (either at our regular stalls in Edinburgh and Glasgow or at one of our pop ups) please ask to join that group, read the pinned post and ask any questions there. The whole point of the group is to support one another. We have advocacy meetings too, where we talk through our approach and some of the frequently asked questions on stalls. We want to give our volunteers the support they need to feel confident on our stalls.
You may be keen to have a stall in your home town. If so please join the group and post about that so that we can work with you to make it happen. What we'd like ultimately is to have regular GVS stalls all over the country. We realise we need to help people with that as it can be difficult in smaller towns.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
You may not be able to help on our stalls, but be keen to advocate for veganism in your day to day life. If you'd like to join the volunteer group for support in doing that please feel free. The more of us out there advocating for justice for animals the better.
There are other ways you can help behind the scenes. Send us vegan menus/pics of vegan options we can share. Help us keep our list of vegan friendly venues up to date. Offer us the use of your skills in design, graphics, photography, sketching or whatever.
Share our posts and link to our website on posts you do about vegansim (www.goveganscotland.com)
And if you would like to chip in towards our costs, that would be wonderful. We have regular costs:
- web site hosting fees
- public liability insurance
- leaflet and card printing (using vegan printers)
- stall kit replacement
- running and maintaining the GVS Campervan (very kindly donated to us by an anonymous donor!) - tax, insurance, fuel, repairs
You can help with this by:
- making a donation direct to our account (as a one off or regular payment): account number: 01066020, sort code: 80-46-91;
- via PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org);
- and/or by buying from our support store: https://www.goveganscotland.com/gvs-support-store
Every penny goes towards our advocacy work.
Thank you for your support! Let's turn Scotland vegan!