Turning on the Floodlights.

Natalie Masterson, CEO of Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise (SVE) blogs about the opening of nominations for the 2019 Inspire Volunteering Awards, and the recent change in the awards from recognising individuals to celebrating teams and groups.

I am delighted that SVE have this week announced the 2019 Inspire Volunteering Awards. The awards will be held this year at Colessio on Tuesday 3 September. Nominations are open now!

We have made some changes to the Inspire Volunteering Awards this year. Based on feedback from previous winners, nominees and nominators. We won’t be accepting nominations for individual volunteers. It was a tough call but when we looked at the feedback, it was a decision that was clear as day.

I love to tell the story of amazing volunteers. There are so many amazing individuals in our communities, tirelessly giving up their time to volunteer and make their community a better place to live. When we hear or tell these stories we are in awe, they truly are heroes.

Yet… in that word ‘hero’, lies the problem. We hold our volunteers up as beacons, when, usually, it is the last thing that they want. We emphasise their sacrifice, not the joy that they take from being a part of something. We try to single out the exceptional ‘sacrifice’ when, actually the exceptional is, in the words of our volunteers, the everyday… and is in fact ‘no sacrifice at all’ (I just went to see Rocketman!).  Volunteering is always a team effort whether that team is other volunteers, staff, or indeed, our friends and family.

Volunteering Awards are often marketed as ‘shining the spotlight’ on amazing volunteers. In 2019 we want to upgrade the spotlight and replace it with a floodlight! We want to illuminate the amazing volunteering, participation and connection happening everywhere, but we need your help to do this. Highlight your volunteering teams, illuminate your volunteering community, dazzle Stirling with the impact that committed people working together can make. Nominate your teams and groups for an Inspire Volunteering Award by the 29 July. Go on… shine!

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