Bethany wins Path Skillz Volunteer of the Year for leading her group to path success

Bethany Paterson from Perth College’s Moving On course won our Path Skillz Young Person of the Year at our 2020 Volunteer Awards.

Bethany won our award for transforming path access in the Perthshire area improving the health of many in the local community.

Bethany took part in our Path Skillz course as part of her learning during Perth College’s Moving On course. Moving On is targeted at young students who require support for their social, emotional and behavioural needs. The course took on the task of clearing a path just west of Perth in which Bethany shone.

Bethany’s lecturer, Caroline Cowe, said: “The Moving On course is designed for young people requiring support while facing challenging transitions. As part of the course, we worked towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award. As part of the volunteering, we got involved with Paths for All.

There was a rural walkway nearby that we cleared up. It took a lot of planning beforehand to see how to do it correctly. In a group of between six and eight we cut it all down and tidied the whole thing up.

What was great for the young people was the fact that dog walkers who know the path would comment on how much better it looked every time they walked past. This was really rewarding for the young people because they felt like they were really making a difference.

I sent Paths for All a report of how beneficial the project had been. The young people all had a new appreciation for the outdoors and for teamwork, they really came together as a group not just with each other but with the lecturers as well. All being there together levelled the playing field and they felt like they could open up to us. Just mentally there was such a positive shift.

You could see the change in everyone’s self-esteem. Even in their body language alone. They were laughing and having fun. Just being teenagers. They’ve also got a new appreciation for the outdoors and there were times they just wanted to stay and look around.

Bethany motivated her peers and showed real leadership in coordinating the project and has since used this positive experience to apply for a practical course at the college. In which she was accepted.

Caroline said:

Bethany is an absolute grafter. She had on the full kit – waterproofs, goggles, and a helmet. She worked her socks off. Within the group, Bethany led by example. When people weren’t enthusiastic, she encouraged everyone to get involved.

Bethany motivated everyone with a big grin on her face. She’s really excellent at practical learning. She has an almost photographic memory the way she’s learned to adapt and memorise how to do things.

The confidence Bethany has gained from being a leader during the project was that extra push she needed to apply for a practical course at college. She was successful in her application and had her induction recently. She’s sticking with the course and starting this month!

In the future we’re hoping to take ownership on this path and continue with the project throughout next year.

Bethany Paterson from Perth College’s Moving On course won our Path Skillz Young Person of the Year at our 2020 Volunteer Awards, you can view the rest of the winners here.