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Volunteer award launched at New Deer School

By Sean McAngus

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Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action (AVA) celebrated the launch of their new youth volunteer award this week.

The event for the iVolunteer award took place at New Deer Primary School on Thursday (yesterday) where many children are already active volunteers.

AVA were joined by councillor Anne Simpson to speak to youngsters about the new award that is aimed at 5-11 year olds.

The aim of the award is to recognise the commitment to volunteering by young people by celebrating their achievements and acknowledging the time and effort dedicated to volunteering activities.

Volunteering activities can range from being part of a buddying system to help others, taking part in the school council or fundraising to doing litter picks, gardening or helping a neighbour.

Pupils Dexter Marsh (12) and Kai Benson (11) told the assembly about their volunteering activities which included taking part in the Song For Haddo and being a school buddy for younger children starting school.

AVA was delighted to see that the boys are already well on their way to achieving their iVolunteer award and inspiring other pupils to take on some volunteering.

The group wants to roll out the award to all primary schools in Aberdeenshire by working with staff and young people to record their activities.

CEO Daniel Shaw, Rhona Davidson, Dexter Marsh,Kai Benson, councillor Annie Simpson and Lorna Sandison at launch. Picture: Sean McAngus
CEO Daniel Shaw, Rhona Davidson, Dexter Marsh,Kai Benson, councillor Annie Simpson and Lorna Sandison at launch. Picture: Sean McAngus

AVA CEO Daniel Shaw was delighted with the response to the new award.

He said: “Having the Saltire award is really important and get young people of a certain age into volunteering but we wanted to do something different.

“We wanted to do something that gets that earlier group so there is already this mindset of trying to do something in the community.

“The earlier you can start to built that sort of culture I think the more effective it is in the long term.

“The response has been really great.

“I think there is about 100 children in this school and to get a response like that is great.

“The really important thing is that quite alot of them already know about volunteering is.

“It is just about giving children the opportunity to volunteer in some way shape of form that’s not going to be a massive ask for them but it starts it and that culture.”

Contact AVA on 03718 110008 or visit www.avashire.org.uk for more information.

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