Midlothian Volunteers’ Week Awards

Midlothian Volunteers’ Week Awards are all about celebrating the amazing efforts of volunteers in Midlothian.

The awards take place every year during Volunteer’s Week UK (from the 1-7th June) and are a great opportunity to promote some of the fabulous volunteering projects that exist in Midlothian.

On this page you can read more about how to nominate a volunteer or team of volunteers that you think deserves recognition for the contribution they’ve made. Every nomination apart from the Saltire Summit can be individual or team based. Nominations for 2021 are now open and close on Monday 29th March.

Outstanding New Volunteer

Sponsored by Lothian Fire and Rescue

For volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to an organisation and/or their community in less than 12 months. Open to all types of volunteering.

Befriender / Mentor of the Year

Sponsored by Police Scotland

For individual volunteers or teams who have helped others by being part of a befriending or mentoring relationship, including digital, online and telephone befriending.

Active Volunteering

Sponsored by EDF energy

A category for volunteers who have taken on an active role in their community, for example:

  • Involvement with a community garden
  • Leading a walking group
  • Cleaning up the local environment
  • Helping out at a local sports club
Health and Wellbeing Award

Sponsored by Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership

For volunteers who care about the health and wellbeing of people in their community. This could include volunteers that have:

  • Helped to develop new services
  • Been involved in fundraising activities
  • Developed peer support projects
  • Done health related campaigning
Dedicated Service to Volunteering

Sponsored by Esk Valley Rotary Club

This category is for people who have dedicated their time to a cause or organisation for an extended period of at least one year, but it could be significantly longer. This would include volunteers who’ve managed to ‘stick at it’ and adapt their role as a result of the pandemic. Volunteers in this category might include:

  • Community café helpers
  • IT group volunteers
  • Volunteer drivers
  • Trustees or committee members
Volunteer Manager of the Year Award

Sponsored by the Scottish Qualifications Authority

This category is for excellence in volunteer management. Volunteer managers or coordinators can work in paid or unpaid roles. They are usually responsible for a larger team of volunteers, ensuring that services are well run and volunteers are properly supported.

Covid-19 Community Award

Sponsored by Midlothian Council

This is a new award for 2021 to acknowledge the community-led volunteering that has taken place in response to the pandemic. The nomination process for this award is slightly different to the other categories in that nominations can be made by members of the public, as well as workers from the third or public sector. Examples could include volunteer involvement in shopping deliveries, dog walking, hot food provision or community newsletter production. This would typically (but not always) occur as part of an organised neighbourhood initiative. The judges will be looking for outstanding effort and dedication on the part of local volunteers.

Saltire Summit Awards

This award category is for young people aged 12-25 who have achieved an Ascent Award for 100+ hours of certified volunteering and – more importantly – who have also made an outstanding contribution to volunteering. The award is judged by a panel of local Saltire Ambassadors, who are also young people.

Volunteering Team of the Year and Volunteer of the Year

These two prestigious categories are judged by Volunteer Midlothian and taken from the pool of nominations received for the other eight categories.

The link to the nomination form is at the bottom of this page.

Before nominating please read the FAQs.

Midlothian Volunteer Awards FAQs

1. What are the Midlothian Volunteers’ Week Awards? 

The Midlothian Volunteers’ Week Awards are all about celebrating the amazing efforts of volunteers in Midlothian. The awards normally take place every year during Volunteer’s Week, from the 1-7th June, although last year’s awards had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. There are ten award categories in total. Nominations can be made for eight of the categories (all except the Volunteer and Team of the Year Award). Only one nomination per person or team is allowed.  

2. Who can nominate?

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

  • A volunteer co-ordinator 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

If you are a member of the public and want to nominate for any category other than the ‘Covid-19 Community Award’ (which has a more flexible nomination process), the best thing to do is approach one of the people from the list noted above and chat with them about the possibility of submitting a nomination jointly.

Nominations for the ‘Volunteer Manager of the Year’ category can be made by co-workers or volunteers that the person has supported.

If you are unsure about the nominations process please get in touch with Volunteer Midlothian to discuss further.

3. What about nominations for the Covid-19 Community Award?

We recognise that volunteering can occur informally and isn’t always linked to a local charity or voluntary association. This is certainly true for a lot of the volunteering that has gone on during the pandemic, so this year we’ve decided to open a category up to nominations directly from members of the public.

If you live in Midlothian and want to nominate somebody for the Covid-19 Community Award you must provide details for at least one local third or public sector worker (from the list above) who is willing to support your nomination. We recommend that you let people know that you plan to nominate them. We will then contact the ‘referee’ separately to verify the nomination before contacting the nominee.

We are expecting a lot of interest in this category and may need to close it early, so get your nominations in as soon as possible!

4. How are nominations made?

Nominations can be made by completing the form on this website.

The deadline for nominations is Monday 29th March at 12 p.m.

5. What information is needed in order to nominate?

Completion of the nomination form is the main part of the process.

For the Covid-19 Community Award, nominations must include the details of one public or third sector worker who is willing to support the application.

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

6. Who judges the awards?

Awards are judged using the information provided on the nomination form, so it’s important to include plenty of detail. Where there is a sponsor for a category, they appoint a small team of independent judges to decide who wins that category.

The Saltire Summit Award is judged by other local young people who are appointed as Saltire Ambassadors.

Volunteer Midlothian judges the Volunteer Manager of the Year and Team of the Year award from the pool of nominees who didn’t win their category.

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

Once you’ve read these FAQ’s and decided that you want to make a nomination, it is a good idea to tell the person or team concerned. They will probably be thrilled to find out! They may also want to know more about the how the awards work and what will happen if they do win their category. It is likely that this year’s awards will involve promotion via social media and other digital channels such as Volunteer Midlothian’s website, so you may want to discuss that with them too (see below for more info on what we are planning).

8. Will there be a ceremony this year?

Due to the ongoing need for social distancing, this year’s awards will be announced online. We have not yet decided whether there will be a live online ceremony (for example via Zoom) or whether some or perhaps even all of the announcements will take place over social media.

It is possible that pre-recorded video content will play a part in promoting the awards in 2021. We may approach you or the person or team you have nominated to ask if they would be willing to share their story on social media, take part in a communications campaign, or be interviewed about some of the work they’ve done.

If there is a live event it will probably take place on the evening of Thursday 3rd June 2021.

9. 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 give as much information as possible about them and their unique contribution.
  • Focus on the volunteer or volunteer manager, not the group or organisation they volunteer for. The judges are interested in what makes the nominee deserve recognition, not the wider organisation.
  • Provide good quality photographs, not blurry or squint! Ensure that you have permission from anyone else in the photograph for it to be used for the purposes of the nomination process.

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

For more info, or if you’ve got any questions, email info@volunteermidlothian.org.uk in the first instance. Alternatively you can give us a call on 07859 914587.

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