Volunteer Awards recognise those who kept us moving through 2020

We've held our first virtual awards ceremony to recognise and thank volunteers who kept us moving this year.

The Volunteer Awards 2020 celebrated 13 individuals and groups who have gone the extra mile to inspire others to walk, lead and coordinate Health Walks, improve local paths and outdoor spaces, and encourage active travel.

Hosted by BBC presenter Fiona Stalker, the online event showcased the efforts and contribution of each winner with praise coming from senior members of the Scottish Government including the Cabinet Secretaries for environment and transport and the Minister for Public Health.

This year's winners included an 11-year-old boy who created a local fairy trail, a community group who transformed a neglected village green, and man who started a weekend walk for the LGBTIQ+ community.

The event also acknowledged volunteers promoting sustainable travel options and those who led walks for people with long-term conditions such as cancer and dementia.

Ian Findlay CBE, our Chief Officer said:

Our virtual awards ceremony was different this year, but it was every bit as special and positive celebrating the outstanding work that volunteers, who support our work, carried out in local communities across Scotland.

The work of volunteers is fundamental to encouraging more people to walk every day and everywhere as projects across Scotland make more opportunities for better environments for walking, cycling, and wheeling to help more people get more active.

“We are very proud to have such a strong community focus and every volunteer involved in our work should be extremely proud of their contribution and dedication, especially throughout the last few difficult months."

The winners of the 2020 Volunteer Awards are:

Community Path Volunteer of the Year -  Nina Saunders, Bonnyfield Local Nature Reserve
Community Path Volunteer of the Year
Special Mention Award - Matthew McDonald, Toddle Tots Fairy Trail
Community Path Group of the Year - Darkwood Crew
Path Skillz Young Person of the Year - Bethany Paterson, Perth College Moving On
Path Skillz Group of the Year - Forth Valley College,
Workstart Stirling
Active Travel Volunteer of the Year - Sarah Lister,
Skye and Lochalsh Council for Voluntary

Active Travel Project of the Year - Dundee Green Health Partnership
Health Walk Volunteer of the Year - Tommy Clarke, 
LEAP Sports Scotland
Health Walk Group of the Year - Ageing Well Midlothian
Project Coordinator of the Year - Helen Campbell,
KA Leisure
Dementia Friendly Volunteer of the Year - Donald Martin, Healthy Valleys
Cancer Friendly Walk Leader of the Year - Marion McCormick and Karen Cromar, WALK-ER
Step Count Champion of the Year - Kasia Smith, North Ayrshire Council.

Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing said

Thanks to the hard work of these volunteers, many more people now live a healthier and happier lifestyle.

It’s has been truly inspiring to learn about the work the volunteers have done in their local community who have, collectively, made walking a bigger part of daily life and helped incite important behavioural change.

I’d especially like to extend my thanks to the selfless work the volunteers have carried out in light of the current pandemic by altering their normal work to help out in a variety of other ways.

Each winner received £250 for their project, a £30 gift voucher, a certificate and an award.