CVS Falkirk is delighted to have recently presented dates-n-mates Falkirk with their Volunteer Friendly Award.
The award recognises and rewards groups who go the extra mile to involve their volunteers, and demonstrates their commitment to those volunteers – who are often the backbone of the group.
dates-n-mates is Scotland’s national dating and friendship agency for adults with learning disabilities. Like many others, due to COVID-19 they have moved their activities online, running Zoom groups instead of in-person events and activities to continue providing social interaction for their members.
Emma Murray, Regional Lead for dates-n-mates (West of Scotland), said:
“During COVID-19 it was essential we provided opportunities for our current and new members to meet virtually and create connections and relationships to reduce social isolation and loneliness. Our four branches in Aberdeen, Falkirk, Glasgow and Renfrewshire met virtually for a variety of fun events which allowed for adults with learning disabilities all over Scotland to connect.
“Before COVID-19, volunteers played a vital role in hosting face to face social and dating events for our members and their continued support throughout the pandemic has been essential to ensuring our virtual Zoom events were beneficial. Volunteers have continually supported our work and without them dates-n-mates wouldn’t be the same.”
(Image caption: John and Emma outside Callendar House with their award.)
The Volunteer Friendly Award has recently been redesigned by Volunteer Scotland and the TSI Scotland Network as a result of the phenomenal achievements by small groups and their volunteers in the past few years, and especially during the current pandemic and various lockdowns. They said:
“It’s never been more important for groups to be able to show how good they are at involving and managing their volunteers. We believe regardless of your group or organisation size or set up you should be rewarded and recognised for the difference your volunteer programme makes.”
dates-n-mates is Falkirk’s first group to achieve the award since its redesign.
Lynsey Hansford from CVS Falkirk’s Volunteering team said:
“It’s been a pleasure to work with dates-n-mates, supporting them to achieve the Volunteer Friendly Award for the first time. What shone through for me was how inclusive their volunteering programme is: they really support their members who have a learning disability to help within the project, in a way that suits them and their circumstances, as well as recruiting volunteers externally.
“We can’t wait to see their in-person events running in Falkirk again very soon, and would encourage anyone interested in becoming a member or volunteering their time to help to get in touch.”
(Image caption: Laura from CVS Falkirk (far left), with John and Emma outside Callendar House.)
To find out more about the Volunteer Friendly Award in Falkirk (including how you and your group can get involved), visit the Volunteer Falkirk website, or contact Lynsey by email: firstname.lastname@example.org