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Voluntary Action Shetland

Shetland Youth Volunteering Awards 2015

The 6th Annual Shetland Youth Volunteer Awards took place on 2nd November at a civic reception hosted by the Vice Convenor of Shetland Islands Council in the Lerwick Town Hall. The event was attended by over 80 nominees, nominators and guests. 

All photos: Dave Donaldson 

Award Recipients, Sponsors and PrizegiversAward recipients, sponsors and prize givers

There were four nominations in the organisation’s category (that is for organisations who involve young volunteers), six nominations in the “One Team” category (teams of young volunteers) and 11 nominations in the individual volunteer’s category (volunteers aged from Secondary One to 25).

The guests viewed posters showcasing the nominees’ achievements, ate canapés and listened to music provided by Dana Stewart and Michael Phillips.

Compère for the evening, Caroline Moyes, introduced Shetland MSP Tavish Scott who officially opened the ceremony. Tavish mentioned that volunteering is strongly linked with improving one’s mental health and that he was incredibly proud that so many young people in our community were willing to give up their free time to participate in such worthwhile activity. Tavish issued certificates to all of the nominees in the three categories, congratulating each of them on their nominations and wishing them luck in their respective categories.

Catherine Hughson, CEO of Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) said she could not believe that it was the 6th year of the awards, and that she was amazed at the level of volunteering; although there had to be winners, all nominees were winners in her eyes. In the organisations category of this year’s awards, all 4 nominees had made the shortlist: Cunningsburgh & District Agricultural Show, Lerwick District Girl Guiding, OPEN Peer Education Project and Shetland Youth Services. The winners were Cunningsburgh and District Agricultural Show. 

Cunningsburgh and District Agricultural Society
Cunningsburgh and District Agricultural Society: Organisation Category Winner

The “One Team” group of volunteer’s category was presented by Steve Cowie of awards partners BP Sullom Voe. Steve expressed the importance of team work and the meaning of one team: a group of individuals each with their own unique set of skills working as one team to achieve a common goal. Short listed were: Girl Guiding Shetland Young Leaders, Shetland Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament and Sandwick Youth Club Dream Team with Sandwick Youth Club Dream Team winners of the award. Representative Ruaridh Nicolson collected the award on behalf of the group which also consisted of Liam Brannan and Chloe Jamieson. 

Sandwick Youth Club Dream Team
Sandwick Youth Club Dream Team: One Team Category Winner

Finally it was the turn of the individual volunteers and Steve Benn, president of the Rotary Club of Shetland, was invited to the stage. He said that what he had seen at the ceremony was really inspirational and went on to say a little about the work of Rotary Club. Debbie Wynn, Toby Sandison and Thomas Hawick were announced as the shortlist with Toby Sandison the overall Volunteer of the Year. Toby thanked his Nominator, Sonia Inkster, and delivered a powerful message to the younger volunteers at the ceremony stating that volunteering was a life changing experience and he would encourage anyone leaving school to stay or get involved with their volunteering because our community cannot function without them.

Toby Sandison
Toby Sandison: Volunteer Category Winner

SIC Vice Convenor Cecil Smith was invited to close the ceremony. Mr Smith thanked VAS, BP Sullom Voe and The Rotary Club for once again planning such a worthwhile event and he thanked the external event sponsors Jewson Lerwick, the catering staff, musicians Dana and Michael, and Caroline Moyes for a fantastic job as compère at the event. Finally Mr Smith thanked all the nominators and especially the young volunteers themselves for all that they have done for their community.

Shetland Youth Volunteering Development Worker, Neil Pearson said “I am over the moon at the high standard set by nominees this year, the judges really had a difficult task to choose this year’s winners, which demonstrates just how valuable each and every young volunteer is to our community. Every nominee was a potential winner and we hope that young people and the organisations for which they volunteer around Shetland will be inspired by some of the stories from this year’s awards.”

More photos:

Organisation Category

One Team Category

Volunteer Category

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