Volunteering

Midlothian Volunteer Awards 2022

Please note: Nominations for the 2022 awards are now closed.

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

The awards take place every year during Volunteers’ Week (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 the categories for 2022 and how you can help recognise the amazing efforts of volunteers in Midlothian.

Volunteer Awards

How to Nominate

Ready to Nominate?


Volunteer Award Categories


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. Although last year’s award’s event had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, this year we are aiming to have a face-to-face celebration, adhering to any restrictions which may be in place then. 

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 staff from all of the nominations submitted.


2. How many nominations can I submit?

Only one nomination per person or team is allowed.  


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 open on Tuesday 8th March 2022 and will close on Friday 8th April 2022 at midnight.


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 from all of the nominations submitted.

The 2022 categories for nominations are:

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

This award category is for people who have made an outstanding contribution through volunteering within the past 18 months. It aims to recognise the significant difference that volunteers can make to an organisation in a short time. This category is open to all types of volunteer role.  

Befriender/Mentor of the Year and Digital Volunteering (Sponsored by Police Scotland) 

This award acknowledges volunteers who have demonstrated a high level of commitment towards improving the lives of others through a befriending or mentoring relationship. For 2022, we have extended the category to incorporate nominations for volunteers that have supported people to be more digitally included, either on a group or one-to-one basis.  

Active Volunteering and Climate Change (Sponsored by EDF)

This category has been updated for 2022. It is for volunteers who have taken on an active role such as improving the environment, making a positive impact on our planet, volunteering outdoors, or assisting with physical activities and sports. Examples could include volunteering with sports clubs, in community gardens, or helping on projects responding to the climate emergency. 

Service to the Community (Sponsored by Midlothian Council) 

This category is 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. Examples could include helping in a community café or lunch club, being a volunteer driver, being on the school parent council, working in a food bank, or taking on a role as a Trustee or Board member of a local charity.  

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

This award celebrates volunteers who care about the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable in our communities. Activities could involve assisting people with health conditions to access services, provision of peer support, or campaigning to improve awareness around specific issues such as suicide prevention. For 2022, we would also like to see some nominations for volunteers involved in projects to support informal carers.  

Dedicated Service 

This category is for people who have dedicated their time to a cause or organisation for an extended period of 18 or more months, however, it could be over a significantly longer timeframe. This would include people who have managed to ‘stick at it’ and adapt to changes in their role because of the pandemic. Do you know of any volunteers with remarkable resilience who deserve recognition for their long service to good causes in their community? 

Equality and Diversity (Sponsored by Scottish Qualifications Authority) 

This new award category for 2022 will celebrate equality and diversity, shining a spotlight on volunteers that have worked with people who carry protected characteristics, and the volunteers themselves who are vulnerable and feel marginalised.

The protected characteristics under the 2010 Equalities Act are: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy/maternity, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation. This category also includes anti-poverty work and volunteering to address socio-economic disadvantages.

We want to see nominations for volunteers whose actions have demonstrated fairness and a commitment to social justice, including people who have campaigned for the rights of others. 

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 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. 


6. Are there any new categories this year?

The pandemic has changed our world. Lockdown and quarantine exposed many vulnerabilities in our society and areas for improvement. We now strongly recognise that our health is dependent on climate change and that people with protected characteristics have been disproportionately affected. Our adaptation to use new technologies has also helped us to stay connected. Our 2022 categories therefore now include climate change, equality, diversity and digital volunteering. 


7. 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).


8. 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. 

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 people who are appointed as Saltire Ambassadors.

Volunteer Midlothian staff 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.


9. 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, 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 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).


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

Please visit this page for more information on the 2021 nominees. This should give you some ideas for nominations, and provide examples of achievements that were recognised.


11. Will there be a ceremony this year?

Great news! Yes, this year we are aiming to hold a face-to-face ceremony in the splendid Newbattle Abbey College. We will adhere to all current Covid-19 restrictions that may be in place at that time, and will also follow the equality and accessibility regulations of the venue. The event is planned for the evening of 2nd June 2022.

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


12. 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 information as possible about them and their unique contribution. 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 you have permission from anyone else in the photograph so we can use it for the nomination process. We will use submitted photographs in our media and promotional activities unless you tell us not to.


13. 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.