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June 6th 2024

164 young people were recognised for their volunteering on Tuesday evening (4th June 2024) at the Shetland Saltire Awards Ceremony.

The 164 young people between the age of 12 and 25 received a total of 337 certificates between them recognising the over 17,000 hours of volunteering they had collectively taken part in throughout the past year with 45 different local groups, schools and organisations.

The Mareel Auditorium was full to the brim with award recipients.

The Saltire Awards, a long-standing national awards scheme, is designed to recognise and reward the commitment young people make to volunteering in their community. The awards, which is locally managed by us at VAS, recognise milestones of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500 hours of time spent volunteering and are recognised nationally by colleges, universities and employers. As per usual, the even runs as part of national Volunteers’ Week which is taking place this week from Monday 3rd - Sunday 9th June.

Ability Shetland Volunteers Keir Shannon and Andy Anderson opened up the event with a speech about their own experiences volunteering and the opportunities and passion this has created for them in their lives.

Newly elected Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) Bertie Summers and Joe Smith gave out the certificates.

Organisations, which had put forward a large amount of volunteers, were highlighted throughout the evening. These groups ranged from sports and drama clubs, Shetland Army Cadets, Blue Light Volunteers all the way to the young people supporting the Junior Up Helly Aa festival.

At the end of the night, 14 volunteers received a Summit Award, the most prestigious Saltire award which is only achieved by volunteers who have been nominated by their supervisors for making an outstanding contribution to volunteering. Volunteers receiving this accolade represented the Burra Hall Youth Café, the OPEN Project, Open Door Drama, COPE Ltd and the British Red Cross charity shop.

Two of those volunteers were Martha Robertson and Emma Coutts who wrapped up the evening with a speech about their impressive volunteering journeys so far.

Musical entertainment was provided by Filskit.

Lavinia Schmidt, VAS Youth Volunteer Development Worker, who had led through the evening, concluded the event by thanking all young volunteers and the organisations who continue to provide opportunities for young people.

Volunteers or organisations who would like to find out more about Saltire Awards can contact VAS Youth Volunteer Development Worker Lavinia Schmidt by phone on 01595 743911 or by email at: Lavinia.Schmidt@shetland.org or find out more about Saltires here.

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