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Voluntary Action Shetland

Shetland Saltire Awards Ceremony 2017

Group photo Saltire 2017

Photos: Dave Donaldson

(Please click on the links on the green sidebar to take you to the individual awards and photos)

The 5th Annual Shetland Saltire youth volunteering awards took place at Mareel on Tuesday the 28th March 2017. The Saltire Awards are national awards designed to recognise the commitment young people make to volunteering in their community, the awards are managed locally by Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) and are recognised nationally by colleges, universities and employers and are a valuable addition to any CV. Between March 2016 and February 2017 159 young volunteers aged between 12 and 25 submitted certificate requests ranging from 10 to 500 hours of volunteering which they obtained by volunteering with 70 different local organisations, groups, initiatives and schools.

The ceremony was attended by 80 young volunteers and their guests and volunteer supervisors. Guests were welcomed with music from VAS’s very own musical receptionist Charity Johnson.

Charity Johnson

Alec Miller, Chairman of Voluntary Action Shetland, officially opened this year’s ceremony. He said that volunteers receiving Saltire Awards this year have collectively completed a record 22,780 hours of volunteering in Shetland, just over 1,000 hours more than last year’s record. He thanked the supervisors and volunteers for taking the time to complete the paperwork associated with making a reward request, and said that without their contribution, Shetland would not be able to keep breaking records for volunteer involvement. 

Shetland Times Editor Adam Civico issued certificates (in Tavish Scott MSP’s unavoidable absence) to this year’s crop of young people including 8 young volunteers who were issued with “the Saltire Summit Award”, the highest accolade of Saltire, which can only be achieved by volunteers who have been nominated by their supervisor for making a truly outstanding contribution to volunteering. Its purpose is to recognise those who have performed exceptionally in their volunteering role, often going above and beyond the call of duty to carry out their volunteering to the highest standard.

Mr Civico also closed the ceremony, saying: “as someone who has moved to Shetland I can honestly say that one of the things that has impressed me most is the sense of community spirit... at the heart of much of that activity is volunteering. So it is particularly pleasing to learn that so many young people are willing to step up to the plate and do their bit”. Mr Civico continued by delivering some impressive statistics relating to volunteering in Shetland including that recent surveys carried out by Volunteer Development Scotland and the Scottish Household Survey suggests that volunteering in our islands contributes roughly £1.5 million to the local economy each year and that over 70% of young people in Shetland are thought to participate in at least one volunteering activity each year, this is in comparison to the national average of around 49%.

Event organiser, Youth Volunteer Development Worker for Voluntary Action Shetland, Neil Pearson thanked everyone who had helped make the night a success and said: “Volunteering is so important to our community and the young people receiving awards tonight have really embraced that message. I don’t think they realise just how important the role they have played is to our community, they should all be extremely proud of their achievements. Each and every one of them is an inspiration to others in our community and further afield”.

Voluntary Action Shetland Executive Officer Catherine Hughson added “I am so proud of all the volunteers, they continue to break all records and it shows that the investment in their communities is still very much a part of young people’s lives in Shetland”.

Volunteers or organisations who would like to find out more about Saltire Awards can contact Neil Pearson: 01595 743911 Neil.Pearson@shetland.org


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