News & Events



19 Jun 2017

Youth Volunteering Continues to Rise in Scotland

Young people in Scotland are turning to volunteering in their thousands with numbers growing year on year, a trend reflected by the Scottish Government’s national youth volunteer initiative, the Saltire Awards, now celebrating the landmark 100,000 certificates it has awarded to young people since its launch five years ago. The Saltire Awards aims to help broaden opportunities for 12 to 25-year-olds to volunteer and be recognised for their efforts. Since its launch in 2012 Saltire has grown from 14,000 certificates awarded in 2012/13 to 27,000 in 2016/17. In Midlothian the Award is administered by Volunteer Midlothian, part of the Midlothian Third Sector Interface, which has awarded 3,600 certificates locally since the scheme began. This equates to over 80,000 hours of volunteering completed by young people in Midlothian!

While celebrating their achievements, the Saltire Awards encourages young people to try out new ideas and record their volunteering experiences, as well as the valuable life skills they gain. Incorporating the principles of Curriculum for Excellence, it helps them become successful learners and far more confident, content and responsible individuals, who go on to become significant contributors to society with greater job prospects.

Young people can achieve eight different certificates across four Saltire Awards categories – The Challenge, The Approach, The Ascent and The Summit, each reflecting different stages in their volunteering journey. The nationally recognised certificates are authorised and signed by Scottish Government Ministers. At this month’s Volunteers Awards Ceremony 5 Midlothian young people were presented with the Summit Award (see attached photo). This is the highest Saltire Award and is presented to young people who have made an outstanding contribution to volunteering.

Midlothian Council’s Director of Education, Communities and Economy Dr Mary Smith said: “A huge well done to all of our hard working volunteers. To contribute to the 80,000 hours of volunteering locally is a great achievement. The work volunteers do makes a significant impact on their own lives, by building their confidence and giving them valuable experience. However, it is also very important in changing and supporting the lives of others, many of whom are our most vulnerable residents.”

To participate in the Saltire Awards, Midlothian young people can sign up at: or via Volunteer Midlothian, 32/6 Hardengreen Industrial Estate, Dalkeith, EH22 3NX

Tel: 0131 660 1216



Volunteers' Week Awards Ceremony 2017

06 Jun 2017

We hosted our annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony, as part of Volunteers’ Week, on Thursday 1 June at Newbattle Abbey College. 

Over 40 nominations were received across a variety of categories and 16 awards were presented on the night. The evening is always an inspiring showcase of the variety of volunteering which takes place across Midlothian. We were lucky to be joined by Sir Robert Clerk, Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian and his wife Lady Faye, Depute Provost Margot Russell and of course our sponsors. 

The event would not be possible without the support of Newbattle Abbey College and the award sponsors: EDF Energy, Midlothian Council Communities Team, Midlothian Council Lifelong Learning and Employability, Midlothian Health & Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland, The Rotary Club of Esk Valley and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Thank you also to the SQA for printing our programmes for the evening. 

2017 Award Winners

Outstanding New Volunteer Award

presented by Isabel Pattie, Midlothian Council Lifelong Learning and Employability

Winner: Francis Shields, Lothians Veterans' Centre

Befriender/Mentor of the Year Award

presented by Eibhlin McHugh, Midlothian Health & Social Care Partnership

Winner: Paula Smith, Community Links Befriending Project

Active Volunteering Award

presented by Andrew Moodie, EDF Energy

Winner: Ageing Well Volunteers

Service to the Community Award

presented by Stephen Bermingham, Midlothian Council Communities Team

Winner: Sheilagh Law, St David's Bradbury Day Centre

Health & Wellbeing Award

presented by Eibhlin McHugh, Midlothian Health & Social Care Partnership

Winner: Flora Michalopoulou, Home Link Family Support

(Flora's award was collected by Jane Ramage, Board Member and Rachel Almeida, Young Parents Support Service Coordinator - both from Home Link Family Support)

Long Service to Volunteering Award

presented by Atholl Sheriffs, The Rotary Club of Esk Valley

Winner: Fiona Milton, Highbank Day Centre

Volunteer Manager of the Year Award

presented by Jean Blair & Laura Gemmell, SQA

Winner: Keith Barbour, Volunteer Midlothian

Saltire Summit Awards

presented by Keiran Harvey, Saltire Ambassador & Jean Blair, SQA

Winners: Callum Anderson, Megan Kay, Eilidh Selfridge, Jasmine Smales & Hannah Turbitt

Volunteer Team of the Year Award

presented by Sir Robert Clerk, Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian

Winner: Dalkeith Museum Volunteer Team

Volunteer of the Year Award

presented by Depute Provost Margot Russell

Winner: George Roy, Orchard Centre (Health in Mind)

Volunteer Friendly Awards

presented by Community Inspector Michelle Ritchie, Police Scotland

Winner: National Mining Museum Scotland

presented by Community Inspector John Dryden, Police Scotland

Winner: Rosewell Development Trust

Pictured below are all of our 2017 Award winners and sponsors.

LINKnet's Next Mentor Training

05 Jun 2017

LINKnet’s next mentor training is scheduled to be held on Sat 24 June 2017 from 10am to 4p at LINKnet’s main office at 31 Guthrie Street Edinburgh, EH1 1JG

Volunteer mentoring is a skills enhancing and a rewarding opportunity for the mentors

LINKnet are looking to recruit volunteers to work as mentors to help minority ethnic mentees to access employment, further education or to improve English and the knowledge about various aspects of life in Scotland.

Mentor commitment is limited to take a full day training and then to help a mentee for two to three hours per week (one day) for up to six months

Mentoring can bring you job satisfaction and improve your own professional skills and employability

If you are keen to take part in the training

Please call LINKnet mentoring on 0131 225 7970/261 4463

Or email:

The following aspects are covered at the training

1. Brief introduction of LINKnet  

2. Concept of mentoring 

3. Planning of mentoring 

4. Personal Development mentoring 

5. Employment mentoring 

6. Education mentoring 

7. Cultural diversity 

8. Boundaries and confidentiality 

9. Application & CV

10. Interview 


Volunteers' Week in Midlothian

19 May 2017

Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK – and it takes place from the 1-7 June. Volunteers' Week is fast approaching and organisations in Midlothian have plenty of activities planned for their volunteers!

1 June

Volunteer Midlothian's annual Awards Ceremony for volunteers across Midlothian is taking place at Newbattle Abbey College.

4 June

Members of our Volunteer Managers Forum have organised a joint event for all their volunteers to coincide with the Big Lunch. This is taking place at the National Mining Museum Scotland from 12-3pm. 

5 June

Volunteer Midlothian will be promoting volunteering at Tescos Hardengreen from 10am - 1pm.

6 June

Our Midlothian Growing Together project are hosting a 'Golden Hour of Volunteering' in our Community Garden in Dalkeith Country Park from 2-3.30pm. Anyone is welcome to come along and try volunteering in the garden, whilst also finding out about other local opportunities. 

7 June

Rosewell Development Trust are hosting a Beetle Drive & Buffet for their volunteers.

We actively encourage local volunteer involving organisations to recognise and celebrate their volunteers during Volunteers' Week. If you are putting on any events, please get in touch and let us know! Call 0131 660 1216 or email

For useful resources and more information on Volunteers' Week click here. You can also find out more about Volunteers' Week in Scotland on the Volunteer Scotland website.

More news from Volunteer Midlothian

Saltire Awards

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