• Category: 2023

    Midlothian Volunteer Awards 2023: Winners Announced

    We are very excited to announce the winners of the 2023 Midlothian Volunteer Awards ceremony, which took place last night at Newbattle Abbey College. These incredible individuals have gone above and beyond to make a difference in their communities and to their organisations, and we are thrilled to recognise their contributions and dedication. From mentoring young people, supporting parents and providing soups for vulnerable people, and making a difference through physical activity, they represent the very best about volunteering.

    Their inspiring stories remind us that we all have the power to create a positive change, no matter how big or small it may be.

    By sharing their stories and celebrating their contributions and accomplishments, Midlothian’s volunteers inspire others to get involved and make a difference to their own communities….and their own lives. They are shining examples of what it means to be a volunteer. We hope that their passion and commitment will continue to inspire others for years to come.


    This year’s winners are:

    Equality and Diversity Award – Les Reynolds, Mayfield Community Club Tea Dance

    Service to the Community Award – Davy Naismith, The Glencorse Centre

    Befriender/Mentor of the Year Award – Alister Ballantyne, Health in Mind

    Active Volunteering and Climate Change Award – Ageing Well Volunteers, Midlothian Council

    Health & Wellbeing Award – Soup2Go – Young Volunteers, Midlothian Council Communities, Lifelong Learning and Employability

    Dedicated Service Award – Louise D’Arcy-Greig, Army Cadet Force

    Outstanding New Volunteer – I.M.P.A.C.T, Improving Midlothian Parents And Caregivers Time

    Volunteering Team of the Year Award – The Rosewell Volunteering Team and The Rosewell Gardening Club, Rosewell Development Trust

    Volunteer of the Year – Ruth Simpson, Ageing Well

    Our Saltire Summit Award winners for 2023 are:

    Kristen Dent, Aleesha Doherty, Louise Gillespie, Beth Keay, Shaun Wood, Chloe Barron, Ben McIntosh, George Brodie, Abbie O’Malley

    Abbie O’Malley (Brownies)

    Nominated by: Brownies

    Impressed by the amount of time Abbie has committed to helping others.  Her determination to volunteer, positive attitude and compassion has seen her overcome so many of her own challenges.  A true inspiration.

    George Brodie (Bonnyrigg Scouts)

    Nominated by: Bonnyrigg Scouts

    With an impressive list of volunteering activities and responsibilities from such a young age, George is an exceptional individual and is setting an excellent example for others. 

    Ben McIntosh (Beeslack CHS Dolphins)

    Nominated by: Beeslack CHS Dolphins

    The judging panel were particularly impressed by that at just 17 years old, Ben already has 6 years of volunteering experience!  He showed true dedication and commitment throughout Covid restrictions where additional planning and safety measures needed implemented.  His role in helping others to overcome their fears, reassuring them and putting them at ease seems to be a natural talent to Ben.

    Chloe Barron (Beeslack CHS Dolphins)

    Nominated by: Beeslack CHS Dolphins

    The judges were struck by Chloe’s mature, kind and caring nature.  She has shown exceptional dedication to volunteering, continuing to do so even after becoming a qualified swimming teacher.  Such an inspiration!

    Shaun Wood (Volunteer Midlothian)

    Nominated by: Volunteer Midlothian

    Shaun is a true role model.  With his welcoming and friendly nature, encouraging new volunteers to join the Transform project, his ‘can do’ attitude and using his own initiative sets an excellent example to others.   

    Beth Keay (Rosewell Development Trust)

    Nominated by: Rosewell Development Trust

    What a commitment to volunteering!!  Having been actively involved with Girlguiding since 7, and officially volunteering from 10 years old, Beth has shown spectacular commitment.  The judges were particularly impressed by Beth’s random acts of kindness and genuine compassion for others.

    Louise Gillespie (Rosewell Development Trust)

    Nominated by: Rosewell Development Trust

    A phenomonal 8 years of volunteering shows true commitment and reliability.  Louise doesn’t let her own challenges get in the way of her dedication to helping others through her volunteering.  An amazing individual and clearly a highly valued team member at Penicuik Storehouse.

    Aleesha Doherty (Lasswade High School)

    Nominated by: Lasswade High School

    Amazed by the level of commitment throughout such a busy time of studying for exams. The early morning commitment twice a week to breakfast club, before even beginning the school day, is truly commendable, alongside her ability to promote and inspire younger learners in STEM subjects.

    Kristen Dent (Volunteer Midlothian)

    Nominated by: Volunteer Midlothian Transform

    An inspiration.  Kristen has overcome personal barriers with real determination and drive.  Her commitment to stepping outside her comfort zone to give volunteering a try has progressed so much in a short space of time, where she is now fully engaged in volunteering and having a real impact on the community as a whole.

    Les Reynolds (Mayfield Community Club)

    Nominated by: Mayfield Community Club Tea Dance

    Les, we highly value your involvement in supporting and engaging people into their local community. You are a passionate, motivated, helpful and proactive individual. We appreciate your commitment to the Mayfield Community Club Tea Dance which has become an important event in the lives of 100 isolated people in the community. The work that you have done to evolve the project and make it accessible to others is wonderful. 

    Tracy Simpson (Rosewell Development Trust)

    Nominated by: Rosewell Development Trust

    Tracy, we recognise your dedication and admire your commitment to The Steading team. You go above and beyond by helping at other events as well as covering for other volunteers, whilst dealing with struggles of your own. We are delighted to see your time at The Steading has given you the confidence to enrol on a college course, we wish you all the best for the future.

    Jessica Scott (Riding for the Disabled)

    Nominated by: Riding for the Disabled

    Jessica, we admire your dedication and compassion you have shown towards the disabled riders. Its great to hear you have trained other volunteers and co-ordinated fundraiser events as well as making a real difference to the lives of so many children. 

    Margaret Scott (Food Facts Friends)

    Nominated by: Food Facts Friends

    We value Margaret’s commitment and diligence, and her attention to detail. We recognise that she puts the organisation first when trying to overcome her own health challenges. Margaret is a committed and flexible volunteer who has been with the organisation from the very beginning.

    Pat Young (Macmillan Cancer Support)

    Nominated by: Macmillan Cancer Support

    This certificate is given in recognition of your life-long devotion to volunteering and your enthusiasm. You exemplify everything we could want in a volunteer; you are passionate about the cause, willing to help out however you can, and inspire those around you. Thank you.