Rewarding volunteers for their efforts

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Are you a young volunteer? Would you like to have the hours you volunteer in your school or local community recognised? Well now you can and the Aberdeenshire Volunteer Centre is here to help.

The Young Aberdeenshire Volunteer Award has recently been introduced within Aberdeenshire schools. The Volunteer Centre Aberdeenshire would like community groups and local charities that offer volunteering opportunities to young people to support this new award.

The award recognises small blocks of volunteering (10, 20, 30 and 45+ hours) and will be administered by Volunteer Centre Aberdeenshire (VCA), supported by The Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership.

This award is available for young people from Primary School up to the age of 15 years. The VCA’s role is to support schools in the local development of the award, and they will provide administrative support to facilitate the recording of pupil’s achievements and issuing certificates.

The award was piloted at Hill of Banchory School last year and very positive feedback was received from both pupils and staff.

The Millennium Volunteer Award (MV) is a national award that recognises the volunteering activities of young people aged 16 to 25. Certificates are issued on completion of 50, 100 and 200 hours of volunteering. The hours are recorded by the volunteers and verified by the organisation they volunteer with. When an organisation signs up to be an MV organisation they will be offering something extra to encourage young people to start volunteering and to keep them volunteering with the organisation.

For volunteers to record their hours for MV the organisation must be registered with the local volunteer centre. If your organisation involves volunteers under 18 years old or works with clients under 18 then you must have or be prepared to implement a child protection policy to register for MV.

Young Quality Scot Award is an award for young people who have given up their time voluntarily to help and support someone else or the community in which they live. This is a national award, facilitated by Quality Scotland.

A group of young people from across Aberdeenshire were put forward for this award. These young people will participate in the national award ceremony which will be held in Fife in March. The young people, who are selected through the nomination process, will be asked to complete a two day training course, which will cover – Teambuilding, Presentation Skills, Problem Solving and Communication Skills.

The Saltire Award is a national programme for young people between 12 and 25 years old designed to recognise achievements when in volunteering and is planned to start in Aberdeenshire in early 2012.

There are four sections to the awards, Challenge, Approach, Ascent and Summit.

The Award is designed to give young people an experience of volunteering as part of a team and is the ideal introduction to volunteering for young volunteers and is about discovering more about themselves, others and the community. It is designed to encourage a regular commitment to volunteering but in realistic, bit sized chunks.

For more details about any of the above awards or to register for any of them then contact the Aberdeenshire Volunteer Centre, telephone 01330 825794, or email south@vcaberdeenshire.org.uk or visit the website at www.vcaberdeenshire.org.uk

Volunteering Opportunities

ProjectScotland is Scotland’s national youth volunteering organisation, and they have created some great opportunities for young people aged 16-25 in Aberdeenshire to develop their skills and confidence through volunteering.

The Aberdeenshire project will involve up to 20 young people and last for between three and six months, with volunteers committing to around 30 hours per week. There’s loads to choose from – indoors (the arts, marketing, youth work) or outdoors (environmental, gardening). ProjectScotland match applicants with the right opportunity to suit their interests and skills, and support them with an independent mentor, who is also a volunteer, throughout the project. They even help with travelling expenses.

Interested? Check out the website at www.projectscotland.co.uk or give them a call on 08458 416225.

The Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network are developing a Shopping Service in Stonehaven, Portlethen and surrounding areas. The service is to help older people who have difficulty doing their own shopping and can either be a home delivery service or an accompanied shopping service.

For the Home Delivery Service, Mearns and Coastal Healthy Living Network will arrange for a volunteer to collect a shopping list and do the shopping for the older person.

The Accompanied Shopping Service allows the older person to go to the shops with a volunteer and have help with their shopping. A similar service is already running in the Mearns and surrounding areas, with much success.

If you would like to find out more about the shopping services or about volunteering, please contact Nikki Lorimer on 01561 378130.