Volunteer Awards

Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action host awards each year to Celebrate Volunteers in Dundee

We’re delighted to announce the finalists and winners of Volunteer Awards 2020!

We revealed our winners on Thursday 22nd October #VolAwards2020 #DVVA #DundeeTSI #MakeADifference

Volunteer of the Year Finalists 

Bronwyn Simeon, Tayside Council on Alcohol

About: Bronwyn has volunteered with TCA for 3 years, during her time volunteering she has been involved in many of our projects supporting many young people in Dundee. Currently Bronwyn volunteers with our YP mentoring service, she is matched up with a young person offering 1:1 mentoring support and volunteers at one of our weekly youth groups (Boost boys).

The Nominator said: ‘Over the past 3 years at TCA Bronwyn has been a pleasure to work with, she is very dedicated to supporting young people in a non-judgemental way, showing they are valued members of the local community and society, whilst supporting them to reach positive destinations. I would like to recognize all of Bronwyn’s hard work and time she has given up to support the young people at TCA and the support she has given to TCA to keep our services running.’

Elizabeth Ramsay, Home-Start Dundee

About: For over the last 5 years Elizabeth has been a Volunteer Group Worker. Being the very first Family Group volunteer she has shown her dedication and commitment to the Home-Start Family Group. This group has run for over 8 years and has a regular attendance of 12 families each week. The group has a huge positive impact on the families by providing weekly peer support, information, guidance and learning opportunities to encourage interaction between the parent/carer and child.

The Nominator said: ‘As she is such a reliable and trusted volunteer at the group, she has become a mother/grandmother figure to the families. When a birthday party was arranged for Elizabeth last year a number of families that had previously attended the group returned to celebrate with her showing the high regard and respect the families have for her and because of this Elizabeth is the chosen volunteer that attends Home-Start’s Annual Family Outing each year.’

And the Winner is…Francis Smith, Dundee Community Transport

About: Francis has volunteered on the Out & About bus since it’s launch back in November 2018. The Out & bus is aimed at the over 65 community in Dundee to help get people out and about and to help prevent social isolation. He volunteers from 9.30am until about 2pm 5 days a week and has only ever missed a couple of days!

The Nominator said: ‘Francis gives up his time to help our elderly passengers get out and about on a daily basis going above and beyond the usual role of a volunteer. He is dedicated and committed to the service running as smoothly as possible and likes to be involved in every aspect of the organisation of the bus trips. He helps to decide on places to visit and uses his extensive knowledge of Dundee and the surrounding area to help pick places that he thinks our passengers will enjoy.’      

Kathryn Mackenzie Make a Difference Finalists

And the Winner is…Ann Brown, BeFriends Limited

About: Ann has spent seven of her 10 years with BeFriends, working with a young girl throughout her formative years to build a strong befriending relationship. Meeting with her almost every week for around four hours each time, Ann provides a welcoming, friendly face and is a trustworthy companion from outside the family setting with whom she engages voluntarily. Ann offers an empathetic listening ear and in invaluable supply of coping strategies to help her overcome her often debilitating worries and behaviours.

The Nominator said: ‘Ann approaches befriending with modesty and humility. She states that she is privileged to be part of M’s life and she does so with unwavering resourcefulness. This is despite having numerous demanding family commitments and supporting young adults in her hectic professional student support role.’

Simon Redmond, FareShare / DVVA

About: Even though Simon is now back to full time employment as an Assistant Hotel Manager he chooses to still carry out volunteering tasks on his days off as he loves helping others and gains life satisfaction knowing that he is doing something worthwhile with his free time. With the lockdown measures in place Simon has continued to fight the wants, needs and concerns of all the residents living within the Fintry community.

The Nominator said: ‘Simon is caring, kind, friendly, talkative and puts others needs before his own. Simon is being a great role model not only for our Daughters but for all the young people within our street and the community.’

James Todd, Link Up Whitfield

About: This year James began volunteering formally for the first time. After coming to our community café for around a year he finally took the plunge and was a member of our Men’s Group as a participant from the beginning. James began volunteering in the Snack and Chat community café in August last year.

The Nominator said: ‘Since day one he has been a breath of fresh air and has been dedicated and serious about his volunteering. All of our customers love his cheerful attitude and enthusiasm. Nothing is too much for him and works so hard to make sure that everyone has a good experience.’

Lifetime Achievement Finalists

And the Winner is…Elizabeth Waine, Alternatives Dundee

About: Elizabeth has been a dedicated member of the Alternatives team since the organisation began in 1994. Elizabeth has supported the organisation over the years through various changes, challenges and celebrations. Elizabeth was one of the first volunteers who set up Alternatives and throughout the last 28 years, has taken on multiple roles, such as support worker, centre manager, administration assistant and trainer many of which were on a voluntary basis.

The Nominator said: ‘Elizabeth has always shown dedication and reliability to the organisation and is always welcoming to new team members and volunteers. Elizabeth is always happy to share her insights and thoughts with team members/volunteers and provides a listening ear whenever she is in the office. Her supportive leadership style encourages others to try new things and innovate, always supportive of new ideas and encouraging of what each new team member has to bring.’

Fiona Cook, Ardler Complex Local Management Group

About: Fiona Cook has been a volunteer with the Local Management Group of the Ardler Complex for over 20 years and has played a huge role in the advancement of community involvement within the centre over this time. Fiona has held her current post of Convenor for the last few years and has been very successful in supporting the other LMG members to promote and increase community involvement within the complex.

The Nominator said: ‘Fiona has always been a hands-on person and has taken an active role in all aspects of Ardler complex activities, from decorating rooms, stewarding at events, organising activities for children, families and the elderly she is always the first there lending a hand to whatever is needed to make things a success.’

Earl Scott, Verdant Works

About: Earl Scott volunteers for both Verdant Works and RRS Discovery as a Tour Guide. He has worked 2 afternoons a week for the past 27 years. His enthusiasm for the city and its history are evident in his tours, and he thoroughly enjoys meeting tourists from the UK and beyond.

The Nominator said: ‘Overall Earl is an enthusiastic and entertaining volunteer. He is positive about Dundee as a tourist destination and according to City Life Dundee in 2015 “he brought the whole history of Dundee’s jute industry to life before our eyes” in Verdant Works. He has been interviewed for several magazines, with Go Industrial magazine stating, “a better suited volunteer for these museums is hard to find”.’

Volunteer Team of the Year Finalists

And the Winner is…Kirkton Community Larder

About: Kirkton Community Larder was established as a direct response to the needs of the Kirkton community and was formed as a Kirkton Community Centre Local Management Group Initiative in June 2019.

The Nominator said: ‘The group quickly attracted a core group of very active volunteers from within the local community, including users of the service themselves – which is beneficial to the group as they can give a different perspective to the service. They all wished to give something back to their community and support others as they had been supported.’

Snack + Chat Volunteers, Link Up Whitfield

About: Snack and Chat is a constituted group that has been operational since 2012. It is a community café that provides healthy, low cost meals to the local community whilst also providing a safe environment for people to meet and socialize with their friends and to meet new people too.

The Nominator said: ‘They really are a community asset. The volunteers give up a large proportion of their free time to ensure that the café runs smoothly- Tuesdays for baking and shopping, Wednesdays for the café plus more when needed for training or catering! They also look out for their regular customers, buying a special soup mug with handles for one who’s arthritis was causing issues, and they would regularly phone to check on people if they hadn’t been for a while or they knew they weren’t well. They would also give left overs away to one elderly gentleman who lived on his own so that they knew he would get something decent to eat at night too.’

Carina + Kyle Mitchell, Dundee Bairns

About: Carina and Kyle always put themselves forward every week and were always the first volunteers on the list. Between them, they delivered thousands of meals across four different projects, helping to fill hundreds of little bellies over the 18 week period.

The Nominator said: ‘Carina and Kyle built up some brilliant relationships with the kitchen staff at Grove, who even surprised Kyle with a cake on his birthday! Kyle was able to deliver meals to the Boomerang Centre, where he also usually volunteers, so this allowed him to maintain contact and relationships with them too. Both have been an amazing help to Dundee Bairns. Kyle has taken great pride in working to deliver the meals to his projects and was always super keen to get the job done, wearing his Dundee Bairns t-shirt with pride at every delivery.’     

Trustee/Board Member of the Year Finalists 

And the Winner is…Shiona Baird, Tayside Re-Users

About: Shiona Baird has a lifetime of community service and energetic dedication to the needs of others. Tayside Re-Users has been Shiona’s “baby” and her dedicated focus since she joined in 1997. Since her earliest involvement. TR has changed and developed, moved premises to accommodate its expanding inventory and won major awards towards its way of reducing the carbon footprint. Shiona stepped forward and took the chair of TR in 2009.

The Nominator said: ‘She has energetically led the organisation to where we are now with an increasingly professionalized Board, active plans for improving and expanding TR’s activities and the beginnings of a programme to buy and refurbish the existing mill in which the charity operates. Ownership and refurbishment of the mill: a very major part of Shiona’s vision, will allow TR to seriously improve what it does and start to offer the range of training and other opportunities that are such a key part of the TR vision.’

Helen Smith, Dundee International Women’s Centre

About: Helen has shown her dedication to Dundee International Women’s Centre since joining the Board in 2012. She has been a director, member of the Finance Sub-Group and is now Chair of the full Board. She has worked with three managers, adapting to their different styles while still keeping to the strategic objectives of the charity.

The Nominator said: ‘Helen’s long term experience and knowledge of finance and business structure was invaluable in leading discussions and guiding the team to find the right answers. With her customary calmness and patience, she made sure that no quick decisions were made and instead made a detailed plan for how best to go about changing the staff structure to better reflect the needs of DIWC’s learners, funders and the organisation itself for the foreseeable future. Her strategy was to ensure that as much time as possible was spent in learner-facing work so that beneficiaries gained a greater proportion of their time.’                

Volunteer Manager/Co-ordinator Finalists

And the Winner is…Caitlyn Tadden-Paterson, Link Up Whitfield

About: Caitlyn’s role is to support volunteers within  various Link Up + activities including Women’s group, Food Larder, and the ASN Family Group. Caitlyn helps to build the capacity of our volunteers so that they feel valued, get the necessary training that they need and help them to develop their group in the way that they want to.

The Nominator said: ‘Caitlyn listens to what the volunteers want or need and helps them to do it for themselves, so that she is helping to build their capacity, learn new skills, and build their confidence. She supports them when needed but allows them to explore new ideas and develop new groups too. Caitlyn makes sure that the volunteers are thanked for their hard work by making sure that there are various celebrations for them throughout the year such as a Christmas party, volunteer meals out, Saltire awards for the 12-25 year olds, nominating volunteers for awards, encouraging them to take part in the Activate course or Adult Achievement Awards.’

Genna Millar, Dundee Bairns

About: Genna became the first full time employee of Dundee Bairns on the 31st March 2020, and was immediately pitched into the charity’s response to the Covid 19 pandemic. She immediately organised our 30 volunteers into rotas to deal with the 940 lunches per day we were distributing to projects. She had to continually liaise with the 17 projects in the community to whom we delivered lunches, as well as coordinating with Tayside Contracts on a daily basis.

The Nominator said: ‘Dundee Bairns kept the daily lunches going for 18 weeks and delivered over 58,000 lunches. Genna managed the entire process faultlessly, and despite this being a baptism of fire she managed it without a hitch. In addition, she organised additional opportunities for the children we were delivering the lunches to, notably 800 copies of the comics donated by D C Thomson, 200 activity packages from the V & A Dundee and 100 activity packages from Dundee Contemporary Arts.’

COVID 19 Community Response Volunteer Finalists

And the Winner is…Tam McCabe, Dundee West Football Club

About: As part of Dundee West’s Community Help Initiative, Tam spent time each day reaching out to residents to provide shopping, collect prescriptions, walk dogs, and make over 250 phone calls to say hello and encourage vulnerable residents to stay at home and avoid exposure to the virus. Connecting the football club with the school hub enabled Tam to deliver weekly socially distanced fitness activities promoting health and well-being, along with theory-based sessions to improve social skills. As lockdown restrictions eased, Tam pulled together local groups to run a brand-new street fitness initiative for families to take part in dance and Zumba from their gardens.

The Nominator said: ‘Football is more than a game! The passion of Dundee West’s club volunteer, Tam McCabe, has ensured his work has connected the community in aid of hundreds of vulnerable families. Tam has contributed to packing and distributing over 1200 food parcels to over 120 families through his support for the Kirkton Food Larder. With some families unable to leave their homes, Tam volunteered his time to making over 185 drop offs. Food parcels were left at the door and Tam ensured residents collected safely and checked in to make sure they were okay.’

Ann Plank, St Mary’s Community Centre

About: Ann has been on the St Mary’s Community Centre local management group for over 10 years. Ann started attending the centre’s toddler group with her grandchildren. Ann didn’t let a little thing like a global pandemic stand in her way. She wanted to keep supporting her community. She did this with a lot of determination and imagination. Ann has been instrumental in supporting those harder to reach members of the St Mary’s Community. As a well respected and long standing member of the community, local people feel they can approach her for help and know that she will treat them with respect and dignity.

The Nominator said: ‘Ann ensures that her community are aware of what is happening in the area and encourages them to access anything that might benefit them and their families. This is done with no self interest but comes from her own lived experience…needing someone to reach out to and offer a friendly ear, this can make all the difference to someone’s life.’

Simon Redmond, FareShare / DVVA

About: In the beginning, the ‘Easter Bunny’ surprised each home with an Easter egg, with a personal message written on each note! Simon, along with his wife Nicky, then brought the street together and put on a few, socially distanced, street parties and bingo nights, which were a massive success! Simon, although now back to work, is still volunteering with DVVA delivering food to kids, parcels and gardening jobs for the elderly as well as delivering food across Perth and Dundee.

The Nominator said: ‘Simon Redmond should be recognised for his kindness and generosity to all, neighbours and friends alike. He has done so much for others throughout this pandemic just to ensure a little bit of happiness could be shared throughout this difficult time. His acts of kindness and selflessness has made such a difference to people throughout these dark times and I feel he should be recognised for the difference he has made.’

COVID 19 Community Response Volunteer Team Finalists

And the Winner is…Dundee West Football Club

About: Volunteers led on the club’s focus supporting the Kirkton Community Food Larders. In partnership with Kirkton Community Centre and The Attic, Dundee West volunteers helped pack over 1,200 food parcels for over 120 vulnerable families per week so they could avoid travelling to shops and spending money during such difficult times.

The Nominator said: ‘the ability to understand the needs of the community is a huge part of being able to help families and children in such difficult circumstances! Dundee West’s ability to acknowledge that so many families were struggling to keep children active and healthy but knowing some did not have technology or online devices ensured Dundee West were able to break barriers down and reach out to many vulnerable families.’

Dundee Food Insecurity Network

*Dundee Food Insecurity Network is made up of Kirkton Community Larder, St Marys Community Larder, Lochee Community Larder, Dundee TheGither, Feeling Strong, Taught by Muhammad Foodbank, The Friary, The Salvation Army, Menzieshill Church, St Lukes Church,  St Marys RC Church, The Community Fridge, Lochee Hub, Making Dundee Home,  Coldside Community Cupboard, Haven, Dundee Bairns, Parish Nursing & Eagles Wings, Boomerang Community Centre, Rock Solid Community Larder, Fintry Parish Church, Lifegate Church, Link-up Whitfield, Broughty Ferry Foodbank.

About: The Dundee Food Insecurity Network and Alexander Community Development – 24 individual local projects came together at the start of the crisis (March) and worked really hard to respond to the overwhelming need for emergency food across the city. They and their teams of volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the whole of lockdown and beyond, they worked as a city- wide team, they listened to the needs of the community and adapted to respond to those needs.

The Nominator said: ‘They helped feed people who were shielding; self-isolating; lost their jobs; furloughed without pay; struggling with increased costs of being at home with children; older people who were vulnerable. They ran food larders where people could come and pick up food and get a friendly smile; they delivered to people who couldn’t leave their homes; they had ‘super heroes’ and ‘zumba’ outside; they gave activity packs to families and wellbeing packs to older people; they laughed and smiled and made people feel seen and cared for.’

Rocksolid Dundee Covid Response Volunteers

About: RockSolid Dundee was one of the first responders in Dundee, to the unprecedented Covid 19 Crisis, by very quickly adapting our service to meet the immediate needs of our local communities. Food provision was targeted to people living in the East End of Dundee, but volunteers also delivered to 6 other electoral wards in Dundee where no other support was available at that time.

The Nominator said: ‘We were putting out hundreds of meals and emergency parcels every day, all over the city. It must have been exhausting but they never showed this to anyone. Not only did they deliver food, they picked up supplies – day and night from supermarkets and our network of providers to make sure we had enough, did extra deliveries for people who were in emergency situations and took the time to have conversations with people who were very lonely and isolated. The feedback from people about our volunteers and they support they have given is incredible. I am convinced that none of them expect any recognition for what they have done but we feel that that the dedication they have shown should be celebrated!!!!’

Youth Volunteering Awards 2019

The Youth Volunteering Awards are held each year to celebrate the achievements of young volunteers in Dundee. We had a fantastic time at our ceremony last year and are really looking forward to holding the awards again in 2020!

Keep your eyes peeled for nominations opening later on in the year!

2019 winners:

Youth Friendly Organisation – Link Up Whitfield

Youth Volunteering Team of the Year – Operations Team (Feeling Strong)

Young Volunteer of the Year – Ben Gardiner (SALTO Gymnastics Club)

Saltire Summit Award Winners  – Holly Stewart (Link Up Whitfield)

Billie Rae Dolan (Link Up Whitfield)

Kirsty Turfus (Police Scotland Youth Volunteers)

Sophie Murray (Police Scotland Youth Volunteers)

Jordan Teale (Dundee and Angus ADHD Support Group)

Zoe Moreland (Grove Academy)

Louise Blakeman (Barnardo’s)

Volunteer Awards 2019

The 2019 Volunteer Awards took place on 6th June 2019 at The Quay. The city’s hardest working volunteers were recognised at the annual ceremony held by the charity during Volunteers Week (1st to 7th June).

Eric Knox the CEO said “Volunteers make a real difference to peoples lives in Dundee.  These awards give us the opportunity for the city to celebrate the people who give their time to help other and make Dundee a richer place to live.”