We at CVS Falkirk would like to congratulate the winners from Monday night’s Volunteer Awards Ceremony 2016!
Monday 6th June saw a fantastic night as we kicked off our Volunteer Awards Ceremony to celebrate volunteers from across the Falkirk area.
The awards, now in their 17th year and held at the Inchyra Hotel in Grangemouth, recognise the effort and commitment made by both volunteers and third sector organisations to help others. It’s clear that, with 342 nominations this year, these efforts are greatly appreciated.
Hosted by Gordon Samson, with Provost Pat Reid presenting the awards, the night also featured last year’s award winner and volunteer Fraser Johnston as guest speaker.
“Winning Young Volunteer of the Year last year really put into perspective for me everything I had achieved through volunteering, and it was particularly poignant to be recognised in my local area.”
“We’re all one big team, contributing to the bigger picture, and I am so proud to be part of that.”
The night sped by, with certificates of recognition and Long Service Awards presented and a steady stream of engaging commentary that was as moving as it was entertaining.
Volunteers of all ages attended, from schoolchildren to college students, to those who have been volunteering for 30 and 40 years.
Simply looking around the room at the people gathered proved that volunteering is not simply charity shops. Anyone can volunteer at any age, in a variety of different ways – one room would never be able to contain them all.
Volunteering plays an often vital part in all areas of the community, a point Provost Reid echoed. “Without volunteers,” he said, “the heart of Falkirk doesn’t exist – and they keep it beating.”
Volunteers are the backbone of many organisations in Falkirk, such as the winners of the Volunteer Engaging Organisation of the Year, Rainbow Muslim Women’s Group.
“We’re extremely happy and proud of this achievement,” said Samina Ali, one of the group’s volunteers. “We now feel motivated to do more and help all those in our community. We’d like to thank CVS Falkirk for allowing us to be recognised for our work.”
The group aims provide social and educational opportunities for women and their children from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Nathan Sinclair, who volunteers with Re-Union Canal Boats, was awarded Volunteer of the Year for the support he has offered to his fellow volunteers at Re-Union, and to Re-Union themselves in the variety of roles he undertakes, and the wide range of practical skills he brings to those roles.
Nathan said he never expected to win the award. “Re-Union have done so much for me – this means a lot.”
The final award of the night, the Provost’s Lifetime Achievement Award, went to Margaret Paton, chair of Laurieston Old Folks Welfare Association. Thanks to her dedication, she has become synonymous with the group itself, members said.
Margaret, who also received her 40 Year Long Service Award after volunteering for 43 years, said she was overjoyed.
“I’m so proud to have won this award, and actually quite excited!”
Karen Herbert, CEO of CVS Falkirk, said, “It’s an honour to host the awards ceremony every year and see so many volunteers recognised for their contributions.”
“Our communities rely on volunteers, on their hard work and that they give up their free time to improve other peoples’ lives. It wouldn’t be right not to say thank you in some way.”