Awards celebrate young volunteers

All nominees, sponsors and supporters gathering for the group photo at Mareel on Tuesday night - Photos: Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS)

THE 7th annual Youth Volunteering Awards were held at a civic ceremony in Mareel on Tuesday night with 31 nominees all commended for their work in the community.

Shetland Junior Netball Development Group won the organisation category, while RSPB volunteers won the “one team” award for their conservation work and efforts in helping others experience nature.

Kaylee Mouat and Lauren Smith from Shetland Junior Netball Development Group, with Alec Miller of Voluntary Action Shetland.

Kaylee Mouat from Shetland Junior Netball Development Group said they were “really shocked” to have won.

“There were some really good organisations that were up and they do an awful lot of good work, but the Shetland Junior Netball group has been going for years and it’s provided so many young people the opportunity to get into netball.”

Winner of the individual volunteer award was Thomas Hawick for his many hours spent working with Disability Shetland’s youth clubs.

 Individual winner Thomas Hawick with Dennis Leask of the Rotary Club.

A new nomination process was tried out for this year’s awards, which were sponsored by Voluntary Action Shetland, The Rotary Club of Shetland and BP Sullom Voe.

The ceremony was streamed live on 60 North TV and in a break from tradition the winners were announced in an X Factor style, complete with booming voiceover and flashy projected graphics.


Shetland youth volunteering development worker Neil Pearson said the new process, which saw all 31 nominators interviewed about their nominee, had been “a huge success” and praised all of the volunteers nominated.

He said: “It’s so difficult, when Kathleen (Williamson) and I were doing the interviews – every single nominee deserved to be up there winning a trophy.

“We’re incredibly proud of the work that young volunteers are doing in Shetland. Between them they’ve committed thousands of hours of really good quality volunteering in the community. They’re all winners.”

Louise Thomason