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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

Robert Aldridge, 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 7 June 2023.



Photos above courtesy of our amazing Volunteer Photographer Debs (website Debs website here or tag on Istagram @debsmooth. Thank you also to our colleague Emma who also took some photos of the night.

Inspiring Volunteer Awards 2023 Winners

Individual Awards *

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Team Awards *

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Special Recognition Awards *

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Paul Bennett Volunteer Manager of the Year Award

Jacqueline Macrae, Shop Manager at Cancer Research UK

Ian McInnes Award for Inclusive Volunteering

Lothian Bi-Polar Self-Help Group

Inspiring Volunteer of the Year

Isaac Taylor, Support for Learning Helper at Currie High School

Good Citizen Award

Presented by Edinburgh and Lothian Trust Fund to Isaac Taylor, Inspiring Volunteer of the Year

* Full details of the winners for these award categories are provided in the sidebar, with additional details on Special Recognition award winners further down this page. Recipients of awards attending the ceremony this year are also listed in the programme.

Now in its seventeenth 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 #iva2023.

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.

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

Pictured: Photo of the honour board at the City Chambers of the winners of the Inspiring Volunteer of the Year award.

The honour board at the City Chambers of the winners of the Inspiring Volunteer of the Year award.

Lord Provost’s Inspiring Volunteer of the Year

This year the Inspiring Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Isaac Taylor of Currie High School.

Below is a short film about Isaac and Currie High School, and you can find all our Inspiring Volunteer of the Year films from past ceremonies in our YouTube playlist here.

Special Recognition Awards

This year we had 11 special recognition categories for volunteers involved in specific areas of activity, including a new Team of the Year category.

Special Recognition Awards Winners

Arts, Culture and Heritage Volunteer

Jim Mulligan, Event Support Volunteer at National Galleries of Scotland

Charity Shop Volunteer

Ying Yang, Charity Shop Volunteer at Save The Children

Digital Volunteer

Jo Barnes, Digital Inclusion Volunteer at Streetwork at Simon Community Scotland

Environment/Conservation Volunteer

Pat Alexander, TCV Volunteer at Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Fundraising Volunteer

Derek Mackie, Kindness Caller and Volunteering Strategy Group Member at Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland

Health and Social Care Volunteer

Davie Cunningham, Patient Engagement Music Volunteer at Volunteer Edinburgh (Royal Edinburgh Hospital Volunteer Hub)

Long Standing Contribution to Volunteering Award

Richard Andrews, Helpline Volunteer at Children 1st Parentline

Sports Volunteer

Gerry Waterston, Head of Finance Committee at Auld Reekie Roller Derby

Team of the Year

Cyrenians Residential Peer Mentors at Cyrenians

Trustee Volunteer

Sheila Perry, Secretary at Corstorphine Community Centre

Young Volunteer

Romilly Skipworth, Young Volunteer at St John Scotland Edinburgh Area

Ian McInnes Award for Inclusive Volunteering

Photo of Ian McInnes at Volunteer Edinburgh.

Ian McInnes at Volunteer Edinburgh.

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.

Lothian Bi-Polar Self-Help Group received the 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.

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 introduced 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 recipient of the award this year was Jacqueline Macrae of Cancer Research UK.

Individual and Team Awards

In addition to the awards detailed above, 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 who attended the ceremony in the programme here, and view a full list of winners in the documents available in the sidebar.

Looking Back at Past Ceremonies

In 2020, 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 Citadel Youth Centre who were the recipients of the Ian McInnes Award 2022.

Citadel Youth Centre were the recipients of the Ian McInnes Award 2022.

You can download the programme for the Inspiring Volunteer Awards 2022 here and view photos from the ceremony in 2022 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.