• Category: Volunteer Manager of the Year Award

    Naomi Knights

    Nominated by: Volunteer Midlothian

    Naomi coordinates the ‘Connect’ project at Volunteer Midlothian and has done so for the past three years. She is a dedicated volunteer manager who does her utmost to ensure that her volunteers provide a great service when supporting isolated older people in Midlothian. Naomi was quick to shift the Connect project into a telephone befriending format when the pandemic and lockdown were announced. She is extremely committed to the people she supports (both clients and volunteers), has a strong ‘social conscience’, and is always one of the first to anticipate potential changes that might impact on her service.

    Shondra Riley

    Nominated by: Jenny Bruce of the Little Social Media Company

    Shondra runs Made in Midlothian on a voluntary basis and fulfils several management roles within the organisation. Everything she does is with the local community in mind. She is enthusiastic and encouraging and continues to challenge herself and inspire others. She’s also a fantastic volunteer manager who is approachable, supportive and understanding to all those who meet her.

    Monika Dyczko

    Nominated by: Health in Mind

    Monika Dyczko is the volunteer manager for Health in Mind’s Equal Access service in Midlothian and East Lothian. Monika recruits, trains, inducts, and supports a wide variety of peer volunteers. She started as a volunteer herself with Health in Mind, providing befriending support for people from minority ethnic communities. Monika is an inspiration to her volunteers. Notably, two of the volunteers she has recruited and trained have successfully applied for paid positions and are now volunteer managers themselves.

    Michael Huddleston

    Nominated by: Alzheimer Scotland

    Michael is responsible for managing a team of volunteers in Midlothian, ensuring that Alzheimer Scotland activities are well run and volunteers are properly supported and informed. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Michael managed a small befriending service and very quickly developed a Telephone Companion Service when the nation went into lockdown. Michael supports 5 key volunteers who have provided an incredible 1100+ calls for 18 people and their carers during the pandemic. He provides the volunteers with regular updates and close support and supervision. He also creates time for peer support and organised an online ‘Volunteer Gathering’ during Volunteers’ Week in June 2020.

    Mark Wells

    Nominated by: Food Facts Friends

    Mark is the founder, manager and driving force behind Food Facts Friends (FFF), which operates a foodbank and offers advice services to those in need. Mark is a remarkable person – unselfish of his time, determined and very persuasive when necessary. It was his resolve to continue to provide food for the most vulnerable in the community that enabled FFF to overcome the considerable challenges of the past year. As elderly team members shielded, he took on and trained their replacements. In the following months he and his highly motivated team succeeded in meeting an incredible seven-fold increase in demand.