67 young volunteers aged between 12 and 25 were celebrated at the Shetland Saltire Youth Volunteering Awards ceremony at Mareel on Monday evening (6th June 2022). It was the first in-person ceremony of the annual event since 2019.

Photo: Dave Donaldson

The 67 young people received a total of 125 certificates between them recognising the over 10,000 hours of volunteering they had collectively taken part in throughout the year with 25 different local groups, schools and organisations.

You can view the full gallery of award recipients here.

The Saltire Awards are national awards designed to recognise and reward the commitment young people make to volunteering in their community. The awards, locally managed by Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS), are recognised nationally by colleges, universities employers and they are a valuable addition to any CV. This year, the event coincided with Volunteers’ Week which runs annually from the 1st – 7th of June. You can find out more about what we did for Volunteers' Week here.

Voluntary Action Shetland Chair, Willie Shannon, recognized the volunteers’ commitment during his opening speech: ‘It is fantastic to see the first Saltire Awards event since 2019 and to celebrate young people being recognised for volunteering in the community. The efforts and achievements of the young volunteers has been a shining light as we come out of the pandemic and inspires all of us for the future.’

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart presented certificates to the volunteers, of which two received a ‘Saltire Summit Award’. The Summit is 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. Its purpose it to recognise those who have gone above and beyond.

From left to right: Lavinia Schmidt (VAS Youth Volunteering Support Worker), Beatrice Wishart, Hunter Arthur and Shannon Boston (both Summit award recipients), Willie Shannon (VAS Chair), Lynn Tulloch (VAS Chief Executive)

Event organiser, Youth Volunteering Support Worker for Voluntary Action Shetland, Lavinia Schmidt highlighted the many different activities volunteers took part in the last year. These included assisting the running of many different groups such as charities, sports clubs, youth clubs, uniformed groups and other recreational groups which are often for the benefit of other young people but in some cases also offer intergenerational exchange. Supervisors were delighted with how well their volunteers had developed through their volunteering.

During the event Ms Schmidt also added that volunteering had to change massively during the past two years: “Restrictions and lockdown inspired many people who had never volunteered before to help others, but it also meant that many opportunities had to stop or change to a different format. Now, it is great to see the community finally able to get back together again.”

Ms Schmidt also thanked the staff at Mareel for providing the venue, support and Mocktails, COPE Ltd. For the great catering and young band High Level Hot Club for the fantastic music provision on the night.

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