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inspiring volunteer awards

Edinburgh's Inspiring Volunteer Awards reflect the exceptional range of organisations and individuals working in the city's vibrant charity and non-profit sectors

Edinburgh’s inspiring volunteers’ announced

Frank Ross, Rt. Hon. Lord Provost of The City of Edinburgh honoured some of the dedicated volunteers who give their time, energy and commitment to the people of Edinburgh at a special awards ceremony at the City Chambers on Wednesday 1 September 2021.

Now in its fifteenth year, Edinburgh’s Inspiring Volunteer Awards reflect the exceptional range of organisations and individuals working in the city’s vibrant charity and non-profit sectors.

If you would like to post about the awards on social media please use the hashtag #iva2021.

Honour board in the City Chambers

On Tuesday 3 June 2015, the Lord Provost unveiled an Honour Board he commissioned which lists previous winners of the Lord Provost’s Inspiring Volunteer of the Year award since its inception in 2008. And it is intended to add to it each year as new winners are chosen.

This board is displayed in the City Chambers and this years winner will be added following this year’s awards ceremony. You can read more about the Honour Board on our site here.

Pictured Deputy Lord Provost Joan Griffiths unveiling the honor board last year with The Citizens awarded the Inspiring Volunteer of the Year award for 2020. You can view a short film featuring Frank Ross Rt. Hon. Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh along with Deputy Lord Provost Joan Griffiths and our Chief Officer Paul J Wilson here.

Lord Provost’s Inspiring Volunteer of the Year

This year the Inspiring Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Julia Grindley of the Edinburgh School Uniform Bank.

You can view a short film about Julia and the Edinburgh School Uniform Bank below and you can find all our Inspiring Volunteer of the Year films from past ceremonies in our YouTube playlist here.

Video This year the Lord Provost’s Inspiring Volunteer of the Year award was awarded to Julia Grindley of the Edinburgh School Uniform Bank.

Special Recognition Awards

This year we had nine special recognition categories for volunteers involved in specific areas of activity.

  • Priscilla Da Silva Arts, Culture and Heritage Cyrenians Food Education
  • David Flucker Charity Shop Volunteer St Columba’s Hospice
  • Di McGuire Environment/Conservation Volunteer The Welcoming Association
  • Margarite Gill Health & Social Care Volunteer Marie Curie
  • Katarzyna Gasiorowska Trustee Volunteer Feniks. Counselling, Personal Development and Support Services Ltd
  • Anna Sturzaker Young Volunteer Positive Help
  • Susan Gibson Long Standing Contribution to Volunteering WHALE Arts
  • Stuart Owen Fundraising Volunteer Held In Our Hearts
  • Pauline Capaldi Sports Volunteer British Cycling /@ Scottish Cycling Breeze

Ian McInnes Award for Inclusive Volunteering

Photo of Ian McInnes at Volunteer Edinburgh

Pictured Ian McInnes at Volunteer Edinburgh. Find out more about this award here.

Awarded to a Volunteer Involving Organisation in memory of Ian McInnes (1969 to 2017) in recognition of their contribution to improving equality and accessibility in volunteering.

This may be as a result of their creative approaches to reaching and recruiting volunteers; their flexible and inclusive ways of engaging with and supporting volunteers or how they share these techniques with other organisations to improve volunteering for all.

The Male Befriending Team of Held In Our Hearts received this award at the City Chambers this year in recognition of their very real and important commitment to their volunteers.

Ian’s family and Volunteer Edinburgh very much hope that the Ian McInnes Award will encourage other organisations to think the same way and create roles for volunteers no matter what issues those volunteers have. As Ian would have said, “just go for it” as you never know what positive experiences it might lead to for both the organisation and the volunteer!

You can find out more about this award and view a list of previous recipients here.

Paul Bennett Volunteer Manager of the Year Award

Photo of Paul Bennett, after which the Volunteer Manager of the Year Award is named, with his twin girls Jessica and Jasmine

Pictured: Paul Bennett, after which the Volunteer Manager of the Year Award is named, with his twin girls Jessica and Jasmine.

On 7 August 2020 we lost our much loved friend and colleague Paul Bennett, following a short illness. He was only 49. To many people Paul was the first person that they would meet when they came into Volunteer Edinburgh and to many organisations he was the guy who helped them craft their adverts to make sure they were as effective as possible.

Paul was a constant fixture at our Inspiring Volunteer Award ceremony, putting his photography skills to good use each year making sure that every award recipient had their moment captured. He was also always on hand to offer advice and guidance to volunteer managers, helping them and answering their volunteer management questions.

Volunteer Managers are often the unsung heroes in the volunteering world. They encourage, nurture and help make volunteering a truly amazing thing. In Paul’s memory we have introduced a new award category this year, the ‘Paul Bennett Volunteer Manager of the Year Award‘. This award is open to any volunteer manager, paid or unpaid, who makes an outstanding contribution to volunteering in Edinburgh.

The first recipient of this new award was Maggie Young of St Columba’s Hospice Care.

Individual and Team Awards

In addition to the awards detailed here, a number of individuals and teams from across the city also received an award in recognition of their contributions. You can find out about all the awardees in the programme here.

Looking back at past ceremonies

Last year, for obvious reasons and to our great disappointment, we were not able to host our annual Inspiring Volunteer Awards. Instead the Inspiring Volunteer of the Year 2020 was awarded to The Citizens in recognition of the enormous contribution volunteers across the city made throughout the pandemic. You can find out more about this on our site here.

Photo of CAPS Independent Advocacy who were the recipients of the Ian McInnes Award 2019.

Pictured CAPS Independent Advocacy were the recipients of the Ian McInnes Award 2019.

You can download the programme for the Inspiring Volunteer Awards 2019 here and view photos from the ceremony in 2019 on our Facebook page here.

Volunteer Edinburgh, Inspiring Volunteer Awards, Office of the Lord Provost, and City of Edinburgh Council logos

Volunteer Edinburgh’s Inspiring Volunteer Awards in partnership with the Office of the Lord Provost and the City of Edinburgh Council.
For more information please contact Jason McCann at Volunteer Edinburgh by calling 07587 034 535 or email events@volunteeredinburgh.org.uk.