Midlothian Volunteers’ Week Awards

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 award winners and nominees for 2021:

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.

  • Heather Mortimore
    Nominated by: Food Facts Friends Heather joined the Food Facts Friends food bank at a critical time in late March 2020, when many existing volunteers had resigned to go into …
  • Andrew Love
    Nominated by: CAPS Collective Advocacy Andrew volunteers with CAPS Collective Advocacy, using his own lived experience of mental health issues to teach others about why mental health is such an …
  • Beth Fyfe Falconer
    Nominated by: Volunteer Midlothian – Transform Connect Online provides digital support to older people, helping them navigate technology, maintain independence, keep in touch and feel part of things. Transform is …
  • Katrina Drennan
    Nominated by: Penicuik Ambassadors Katrina is one of the volunteers who got involved with the Penicuik Ambassadors at the beginning of the pandemic as a shopper, befriender and prescription collector. …
  • Kathryn Gordon
    Nominated by: Home Link Family Support Kate is one of Home Link Family Support’s (HLFS) team of volunteer befrienders. She is currently supporting an HLFS client to improve their spoken …

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.

  • Connect Project Volunteers
    Nominated by: Volunteer Midlothian Volunteers with the Connect Project are matched with an older person who has been identified as socially isolated in the Midlothian community. For the past year …
  • Joseph Burke
    Nominated by: Health in Mind Since January 2020 Joseph has been volunteering with Health in Mind, providing one to one support to four Midlothian men experiencing mental health difficulties. He …
  • Colin Pow
    Nominated by: Health in Mind Colin provides one to one telephone support on a weekly basis for two people with mental health and addiction issues. He also attends a variety …
  • Amanda Gillespie
    Nominated by: Home Link Family Support Amanda is a volunteer befriender with Home Link Family Support (HLFS) who has supported two families this year. The one she has supported the …
  • Alzheimer Scotland Volunteer Telephone Companions
    Nominated by: Alzheimer Scotland Alzheimer Scotland Volunteer Telephone Companions make phone and video calls to people living with dementia and their carers in Midlothian. Each volunteer calls between 1-6 people …

Active Volunteering

Sponsored by EDF

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

  • Chris Boyle and Ricky Lloyd
    Nominated by: Dalkeith Rugby Football Club Chris and Ricky have been volunteering at Dalkeith Rugby for 4 and 10 years respectively. They both worked tirelessly to make sure that rugby …
  • Ageing Well Volunteers
    Nominated by: Ageing Well (Midlothian Council) During the pandemic the Ageing Well volunteers continued to offer outdoor activities whilst also telephoning round their regular groups to ensure everyone was coping …
  • Dalkeith Guerrilla Gardeners
    Nominated by: Dalkeith and District Community Council Dalkeith Guerrilla Gardeners look after neglected public spaces in and around Dalkeith by weeding, planting and maintaining them. All year round, they plant …
  • Mirabelle Maslin
    Nominated by: Roslin and Bilston Community Council Mirabelle has been an active community councillor in Roslin & Bilston for some 6 years. She also represents Roslin and Bilston as one …
  • Holly Gibb
    Nominated by: Breastfeeding Network UK Holly Gibb is a trained breastfeeding peer supporter and walk leader. She founded the Breastfeeding Café in Auchendinny in 2014, creating a place for breastfeeding …
  • Rebecca Lewis
    Nominated by: Newbattle Abbey Community Woodland Ranger Service The Riverfly on the Esk Project involves sampling the South Esk river and looking at aquatic invertebrates to monitor water quality. Rebecca …

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

  • Midlothian Breastfeeding Alliance
    Nominated by: Breastfeeding Network UK Midlothian Breastfeeding Alliance (MBA) is a network of trained breastfeeding peer supporters who, collectively, have provided dedicated support to breastfeeding mums across Midlothian for many …
  • Green Prescribing Garden Buddies
    Nominated by: Cyrenians Cyrenians Green Prescribing team have been involved in buddying and befriending activity throughout the pandemic in the garden at the Midlothian Community Hospital. The Volunteer Buddies gave …
  • Lauren and Josie from the Art and Craft in Wellbeing Group
    Nominated by: Health in Mind Lauren and Josie co-facilitate the ‘Art and Craft in Wellbeing’ group, which came about after Health in Mind’s wellbeing services moved online due to the …
  • Anam Cara Befriending Volunteers
    Nominated by: Anam Cara The Anam Cara team provided a befriending service to female participants from Anam Cara who were experiencing stress, anxiety and isolation during the Covid-19 lockdown in …

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

  • Colette Pye
    Nominated by: Mayfield and District Breastfeeding Support Group Colette has been volunteering for the last 28 years as a breastfeeding peer supporter in Midlothian. She came to Mayfield and District …
  • Penicuik Community Development Trust
    Nominated by: Midlothian Council Communities and Lifelong Learning Since its formation, the Penicuik Community Development Trust’s volunteers have been involved in a wide range of activities that have supported social, …
  • Jim Ralston
    Nominated by: Owen Thompson MP Jim has been Captain of the 1st Loanhead Boys Brigade (BB) for 12 years and has changed the lives of many Midlothian young people for …
  • Maggie Palmer
    Nominated by: Home Link Family Support Maggie trained as a Volunteer Befriender with Home Link Family Support in late 2016 and began supporting vulnerable families at the start of 2017. …
  • David Thornton
    Nominated by: Health in Mind Davie is a long-standing volunteer in many roles. He often takes the lead with outdoor group activities including gardening and conservation, supporting others to take …
  • Connect Online Volunteers
    Nominated by: Volunteer Midlothian Connect Online is a project that matches volunteers with older people who want to learn digital skills. This might involve using a laptop, iPad, electronic tablet, …
  • Jim Paterson
    Nominated by: Food Facts Friends Jim has been involved in Food Facts Friends (FFF) as treasurer since 2016 but has expanded his role considerably over the past four years. He …

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.

  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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 …
  • 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. …
  • 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. …

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. 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.

  • Penicuik Ambassadors
    Nominated by: Midlothian Council Communities and Lifelong Learning. Penicuik Ambassadors played a critical role in providing support to the community during the 2020 lockdown and continue to do so today. …
  • Amazing Brains Committee at Art Club
    Nominated by: Art Club The Amazing Brains Committee at Art Club directed the majority of youth work activity in Dalkeith during the pandemic. They meet once a week on Zoom, …
  • Gorebridge Resilience Partnership
    Nominated by: Gorebridge Development Trust Gorebridge Resilience Partnership is a team of local organisations that led the Covid-19 community response in Gorebridge during the pandemic. These volunteers put themselves before …
  • Food Facts Friends Volunteers
    Nominated by: Food Facts Friends The volunteers at Food Facts Friends (FFF) have provided food for the most vulnerable in the community since 2016. They have also risen to the …
  • Grant Stanley
    Nominated by: Councillor Paulin Winchester, Midlothian Council Grant set up a Facebook group called ‘Our Stars Family’ in 2020. The group provided live entertainment every weekend, raised money for numerous …
  • Vernon Miles
    Nominated by: Midlothian Voluntary Action Vernon has made his mark as a ‘litter picker’ over the past year in Bonnyrigg, inspiring and influencing others in the community to care about …

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.

  • Melissa Reidie
    Organisation: Girlguiding Scotland and Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts Melissa has shown an impressive commitment to volunteering, having completed four years in a leadership role for Girlguiding Scotland as well as inputting 477 hours for ‘Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts’ in Leith.  Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts …
  • Louise Gillespie
    Organisation: Salvation Army and Y2K in Mayfield and Easthouses Louise has shown real commitment to volunteering, achieving over 400 hours of Saltire certification by dedicating three days of her time …
  • Eva Hesketh-Laird
    Organisation: Glencorse Centre and Penicuik Storehouse Eva has put in a significant number of hours of volunteering, initially for the Glencorse Centre in Auchendinny and more recently for the Storehouse …
  • Kyle Anderson
    Organisation: Loanhead Lego Club and Zoom Minecraft groups At just 16 years old, Kyle stands out as a truly inspirational young volunteer. He has shown real initiative in creating and …
  • Samantha Gough
    Organisation: Bright Sparks Samantha is a truly remarkable individual who has shown great dedication as a young volunteer. Not letting Covid-19 get in her way, Samantha has remained busy and …

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.

Volunteering Team of the Year

  • Penicuik Ambassadors
    Nominated by: Midlothian Council Communities and Lifelong Learning. Penicuik Ambassadors played a critical role in providing support to the community during the 2020 lockdown and continue to do so today. …

Volunteer of the Year

  • Joseph Burke
    Nominated by: Health in Mind Since January 2020 Joseph has been volunteering with Health in Mind, providing one to one support to four Midlothian men experiencing mental health difficulties. He …

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.

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.

4. How are nominations made?

Nominations were made by completing a form on this website.

The deadline for nominations was 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. There will be a live online ceremony held using Zoom on Thursday 3rd June 2021 from 7.30PM.

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.