Midlothian Volunteer Awards 2023

The Midlothian Volunteer Awards are all about celebrating the amazing efforts of volunteers in Midlothian.

The awards take place every year during Volunteers’ Week and are a great opportunity to promote some of the fabulous volunteering projects that exist in Midlothian.

Summary of the 2023 Midlothian Volunteer Awards, created by Ellis Paterson.

2023 Mascot Competition

Our student placement, Julianne, organised our Volunteer’s Week mascot competition this year. She produced this great video that shows our mascot on his journey to the Midlothian Volunteer Awards 2023.

For the competition, we took name suggestions for our mascot from local schools and the winner was chosen by vote at the awards ceremony. The winner was the name ‘Ringo’, suggested by a child at Woodburn After School Club, who received £100, their own cuddly toy rhino and a winner’s certificate.

Video created by Julianne Nixon

Volunteer Awards

Frequently Asked Questions

Ready to Nominate?

Video showcasing our Chief Officer, Lesley Kelly’s speech at the 2023 Midlothian Volunteer Awards. Created by our intern, Ellis.

Midlothian Volunteer Awards 2023

Nominees & Winners

Midlothian Volunteer Awards FAQs

1. What are the Midlothian Volunteer Awards? 

The Midlothian Volunteer Awards are all about celebrating the amazing efforts of volunteers in Midlothian. This celebration is a part of a national initiative, where we appreciate people’s kindness across the whole of Scotland. The awards take place every year during Volunteers’ Week, from the 1st-7th June.

There are 10 award categories in total. Nominations are proposed for eight categories, including the Saltire Award which is nominated by local organisations. The remaining two categories (Team of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year) will be chosen by our board members from all of the nominations submitted.

2. How many nominations can I submit?

Only one nomination for each individual or team.  A nominator can nominate as many people/teams as they choose to, but if they nominate more than one in a category they should be aware that the nominations will be up against each other. The exception to this is the Saltire Summit Nominations, where there can be up to a maximum of 12 winners for Midlothian each year.  

3. Who can nominate?

Nominations are usually made by local third or public sector workers. This would include (but is not restricted to):

· A volunteer coordinator or other member of staff from a local charity

· A member of staff from Midlothian Council who has worked with volunteers

· An elected member of Midlothian Council

· The Chair or an office-bearer of a local community council

· The manager of a local development trust or social enterprise

· A charity trustee or board member

· An NHS worker who has worked with volunteers

· A teacher who has worked with volunteers

· A Head Teacher or a Chair of Parents Council

· Member of the public.

Please approach one of the people from the list noted above and chat with them about the possibility of submitting a nomination jointly.

4. How are nominations made?

Nominations are made via an online nomination form. Nominations this year open on February 29th and close on March 26th.

5. What are the categories we can nominate from?

This year we have 10 award categories. Eight of them are open to nominations. Two categories (Team of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year) will be chosen by our staff and board members from all of the nominations submitted.

The 2023 categories for nominations are:

Outstanding New Volunteer (Sponsored by Scottish Fire and Rescue Service)

For volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to an organisation and/or their community in less than 18 months.

Befriender or Mentor of Year (Sponsored by Police Scotland) 

For volunteers who have helped others by being part of a befriending or mentoring relationship.   

Active Volunteering and Climate Change (Sponsored by EDF)

For volunteers who have taken on an active role in their community helping to tackle climate change or being involved in sports and other physical activities.

Service to the Community (Sponsored by Midlothian Council) 

For volunteers who give their time and input to provide valuable services in their community. Without these volunteers, organisations might not be able to sustain the work they do on behalf of others.

Health and Wellbeing Award (Sponsored by Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership) 

For volunteers whose activities have had a health or care related focus, including those that have supported unpaid carers.

Dedicated Service to Volunteering (Sponsored by: Esk Valley Rotary Club)

For volunteers who have given their time to a cause or organisation for an extended period of time (at least 18 months, but it could be significantly longer).

Equality and Diversity (Sponsored by Scottish Qualifications Authority) 

Shining a spotlight on volunteers whose actions have demonstrated fairness and a commitment to social justice, including those who have campaigned for the rights of others.  

Saltire Summit Awards (Sponsored by the Edinburgh College, Midlothian Campus)

For young people aged 12-25 who have achieved 100+ hours and who have made an outstanding contribution to volunteering.

6. What information is needed to nominate?

All nominations must also include at least two photos of the person or team being nominated (up to a maximum of five in total).

7. Who judges the awards?

Awards are judged using the information provided on the nomination form, so it’s important to include plenty of detail. Provide some examples of the work and how it made a difference, or is likely to inspire others to volunteer.

Where there is a sponsor for a category, they appoint a small team of independent judges who decide who wins that category.

The Saltire Summit Award is judged by a group of local young volunteers who are appointed as Saltire Ambassadors.

Volunteer Midlothian staff and board members judge the Volunteer Team of the Year and The Volunteer of the Year award from the pool of nominees who didn’t win their category.

8. Should I tell the person or team I am nominating, or should it be a surprise?

Once you’ve read these FAQs and decided that you want to make a nomination, please tell the person or team concerned. They will probably be thrilled to find out! They may also want to know more about how the awards work and what will happen if they do win their category. Volunteer Midlothian is highly committed to the recognition of volunteering efforts and this includes promotion via social media and other digital channels such as our website and the media. So you may want to discuss that with them (see below for more detail on what we are planning). All communication about the event will be from Volunteer Midlothian to the Nominator. It is the Nominators responsibility to share the information about the nomination and the ceremony with the individual/group they have nominated.

9. How can I find out who were the winners last year?

Please visit this page for more information on last year’s nominees. This should give you some ideas for nominations, and provide examples of achievements that were recognised.

10. Will there be an Award Ceremony?

Yes, the Award Ceremony will be held in the splendid Newbattle Abbey College. You can find photos from 2022 here. The event is planned for the evening of 6th June 2023.

We’d love any person nominated for an award to be made aware so they can save the date for the event.

11. Are there any other things to remember when nominating?

Remember to provide plenty of detail about what has been achieved by the nominee. The judges won’t know anything about the person or team concerned, so please give as much relevant information as possible about them and their unique contribution. It may be down to earth and humorous, it’s about that unique human connection. How did they make a difference?

· Focus on the volunteer, not the group or organisation they volunteer for. The judges are interested in what makes the nominee deserve recognition – not the wider organisation.

· Please provide good quality photographs, not blurry or squint! Make sure the photo clearly shows the person nominated and try not to send in photos with more than one person (unless you’re nominating a team). Submitted photographs will be used in our media and promotional activities, unless you let us know you want to opt out of this.

12. I have a question, who should I contact?

For more info, or if you’ve got any questions, email info@volunteermidlothian.org.uk. Alternatively you can give us a call on 0131 663 9471.