Saltire Awards Surpasses 100,000 Milestone
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: www.saltireawards.org.uk or via Volunteer Midlothian, 32/6 Hardengreen Industrial Estate, Dalkeith, EH22 3NX
Tel: 0131 660 1216