Helping yourself by helping others

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A Portlethen Academy pupil who has won an award for his commitment to volunteering is sharing his experiences with others.

Callum Brunton (17) has dedicated more than 500 hours to Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) over the past two years and won the Aberdeenshire Youth Volunteer Award for contributions to Health and Wellbeing in 2016.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Health and Wellbeing Young Leaders initiative, delivered in partnership with NHS Grampian, aims to increase opportunities for young people to develop leadership skills and to impact on their communities through projects that improve health.

Callum, who is in his final school year, spoke about how his volunteering efforts have helped changed the lives of others and his own, as the Health and Wellbeing programme launches for another year.

He said: “Volunteering is a great way of giving back to your community, and a tool to help you develop as a person.

“Before I started volunteering for Aberdeen FC Community Trust I had no confidence and struggled to speak to people. Now, through the charity, I have developed those skills.

“I’ve helped participants from nursery age to retirement lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.”

Callum has volunteered at Aberdeen FC Community Trust’s walking football, health walks and summer soccer school initiatives and is now a sessional member of staff

Last year, AFCCT chose Callum to join their Eurotrip to Nijmegen in the Netherlands as a reward for his devotion to volunteering and putting others ahead of his own social life.

Senior community projects officer at AFCCT, David Smith, said: “Callum is a dedicated volunteer who has committed a huge amount of time to help others. He has really grown in confidence since he started and we are extremely proud to have him in the team.”

Callum believes that AFC’s proposed ‘Aurora campaign’ plans for a new stadium and community centre will provide even more opportunities for the Trust to engage with more people and says that an upgrade is much needed.

He said: “At the moment we are really limited in terms of space and facilities. The plans will create more opportunities for people from every age group to benefit from amazing facilities.”

The proposals are to be considered by Aberdeen City Council ias soon as possible. For details of how to support the Aurora campaign, visit www.afc.co.uk/Aurora and use #AllForAurora on social media.