Nov 11 2018

A big shout out for Scotland volunteers at the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards

We at Woodland Trust Scotland are shouting out from the rooftops about how proud we are of our volunteers in Scotland, and to congratulate all the award winners across the UK! 

 
I’ll be posting more about each of our Volunteer of the Year Award nominees and winners over the next couple of weeks, about the amazing support they give to us, how dedicated, skilled and knowledgeable they are and why they were nominated, but this is just an intro to how well we did!

 
We had two winners last week, Ian Baird and Alison Stewart, and three other shortlisted volunteers; Liz Bracken, Esme Clelland and Keith Knight.  Ian, Alison and Esme all managed the long journey to Kelham Hall to receive their trophies and certificates.

 

The two winners received beautiful trophies made out of native yew, and the shortlisted volunteers a framed certificate.

 

Our other nominated volunteers were Jim Low, The Kinclaven Bluebell Wood Woodland Working Group, Zandra Coyne, Carole Marr and Andy Black (who both also made it down to the awards ceremony last week), Gordon Watson and William Baird.  Ian Stokes represented the Kinclaven Woodland Working Group at the ceremony.

 

The Woods Under Threat Detector national volunteering network won the UK-wide network category, which also includes some volunteers in Scotland, so well done to our Scotlamd threat Detectors, to Sarah Cooley who manages this network and to Charles Dundas and Arina Nagy-Vizitiu who support this network in Scotland.

 

Last but absolutely not least, some of our Scotland Volunteer Managers were nominated by other staff members and by volunteers.   Site Managers have an incredibly busy job, looking after our woodlands and projects, and I’m always so humbled and impressed by the passion that they share for volunteering and the value they place on volunteering and our volunteers.  Sadly we had no Scotland wins in the  Volunteer Manager category, but I am so incredibly proud of them nevertheless!  

 

I’d also like to thank all our Scotland staff, who did such an amazing job of nominating so many of our volunteers!

 

It was lovely to be able to spend time with the volunteers at the event; some of us managed a fantastic South Indian curry the night before the big day, and it was also great that many brought partners and friends along to share in the celebrations!

 

All nominees, shortlisted and winning volunteers have also been invited to our Scottish Parliamentary Reception on 21st November – a swanky affair where we celebrate Volunteer of the Year, Scottish Tree of the Year, and all our work that’s funded by Players of the Peoples’ Postcode Lottery, so we’ll have a second chance to thank our volunteers face to face!

 

Not that we are at all competitive (!), but I can say that Scotland had the highest number of nominations, joint highest number of shortlisted volunteers, and a good number of winners, so we really went the extra mile to show how we feel volunteers in Scotland matter to us!  We also had over 50% of the volunteers who nominated staff and other volunteers.

 

All our fantastic UK volunteers are AMAZING, but I just wanted to drop in to celebrate our Scotland volunteers, and to thank you for all you do, and to celebrate our worthy winners.

 

Scotland now has over 300 active volunteers supporting woods and trees in Scotland. That’s double the number we had in 2016, and I’m delightful to be part of the Woodland Scotland staff and volunteer team.

 

More from me about our successful volunteers next week!!  In the meantime here’s an embarrassing photo of me in my glad rags after the ceremony last Sunday!

 

 

Matilda Scharsach

Scotland Volunteering Development Officer

 

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