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Community / Youngsters recognised for volunteering efforts

Photo: Dave Donaldson

A RECORD 164 young people were recognised for their volunteering at the latest Shetland Saltire Awards Ceremony on Tuesday evening.

The young people, aged between 12 and 25, received a total of 337 certificates between them.

The recognised that they had collectively undertaken more than 17,000 hours of volunteering throughout the past year with 45 different local groups, schools and organisations.

The Saltire Awards, a long-standing national awards scheme, is designed to recognise and reward the commitment young people make to volunteering in their community.

The awards are locally managed by Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) and recognise milestones of 10, 25, 50, 100, 200 and 500 hours of time spent volunteering.

As per usual, the event runs as part of national Volunteers’ Week which is taking place this week from 3 to 9 June.

Ability Shetland volunteers Keir Shannon and Andy Anderson opened up the event with a speech about their own experiences and the opportunities and passion this has created for them in their lives.

Newly elected Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) Bertie Summers and Joe Smith were on hand to give out the certificates.

Groups recognised on the evening ranged from sports and drama clubs, Shetland army cadets and blue light volunteers to the young people supporting Junior Up Helly Aa.

At the end of the night, 14 volunteers received a Summit Award – the most prestigious Saltire prize which is only achieved by volunteers who have been nominated by their supervisors for making an outstanding contribution to volunteering.

Volunteers receiving this accolade represented the Burra Hall Youth Café, the OPEN Project, Open Door Drama, COPE Ltd and the British Red Cross charity shop.

Two of those volunteers were Martha Robertson and Emma Coutts who wrapped up the evening with a speech about their volunteering journeys so far.

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VAS youth volunteer development worker Lavinia Schmidt, who had led through the evening, concluded the event by thanking all young volunteers and the organisations who continue to provide opportunities for young people.

Volunteers or organisations who would like to find out more about Saltire Awards can contact Schmidt on 01595 743911 or by email at Lavinia.Schmidt@shetland.org.

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