Our Action Earth grants scheme enables volunteer groups to reclaim derelict or empty spaces, plant trees, shrubs and flowers and boost wildlife habitats.

From 2012-15 our projects have improved 11 million square metres of land, 27,000 trees have been planted and 1,060 bird and bat boxes have been built and installed as volunteers take ownership of their local areas and improve conditions.

We give projects up to £500, thanks to the support of Scottish Natural Heritage, to allow individuals and organisations to volunteer together and be inspired to improve their local environment. Grants can be used to purchase tools, plants and materials and to cover volunteer expenses.

Over the last three years, our grants of £120,000 have resulted in the equivalent of 156 years of work hours given - which added to the material value of the projects is a benefit to the economy of £2.25 million pounds (based on an average employee contract at minimum wage).

Take the initiative and sign up to Action Earth to make a positive contribution by visiting www.volunteeringmatters.org.uk/actionearth I am, etc.

Katy McTernan Volunteering Matters