Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian


Business Hours The GATEWAY is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and we can be reached by Email – vsg@vsgwl.org – Telephone (01506) 650111 – or Fax (01506) 650222

West Lothian Voluntary Sector Referendum Debate

Affinity TV covered the debate and their feature video is here:

WLVS Referendum Debate from Affinity TV on Vimeo.

If you have something to say, say it on Affinity TV

West Lothian Volunteers of the Year

The awards ceremony took place on 27th November in the Hilcroft hotel in Whitburn.

Here is a selection of photos from the event taken by George Anderson – click for bigger version.

Jim Sanderson Volunteer of the YearJim Sanderson receives his Winner’s Award in the Volunteer of the Year category from Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs

Chloe Walker Young Volunteer of the YearChloe Walker receives her Winner’s Award in the Young Volunteer of the Year category from Angela Constance MSP, Minister for Youth Employment

HomeAid Social Enterprise of the YearHomeAid West Lothian receive their Winner’s Award in the Social Enterprise of the Year category from Alayne Clark of Enterprising Bathgate

The Big Idea from Broxburn Academy Special CategoryThe Big Idea from Broxburn Academy receive their Winner’s Award in the Special Category from Graham Hope, CEO, West Lothian Council

David Olwa the Cameron Riddell Memorial TrophyDavid Olwa of ASHI receives the Cameron Riddell Assocs. Ltd Memorial Trophy for ‘Personal Contribution to their Community’ from Linda Riddell of Cameron Riddell

Citizens Advice Bureau Voluntary Organisation of the YearCitizens Advice Bureau West Lothian receive the Winner’s Award in the Voluntary Organisation / Group of the Year category from Michael Connarty MP (awarded jointly with Acredale House)

Acredale House  Voluntary Organisation of the YearCllr. Jim Dixon receives the Winner’s Award in the Voluntary Organisation / Group of the Year category on behalf of Acredale House from Michael Connarty MP (awarded jointly with Citizens Advice Bureau West Lothian)

West Lothian Council Employer Supported Volunteer of the YearWest Lothian Council receive their Winner’s Award in the Employer Supported Volunteer(s) of the Year category from Fiona Callan, Trading Team Manager, Northern Region of Heineken

Nancy Burgoyne BEM Volunteers Manager of the YearNancy Burgoyne BEM receives her Winner’s Award in the Volunteers’ Manager of the Year category from Pat McGinley of Farmer Autocare

The Royal Burgh of Linlithgow Reed Band Community Arts Volunteer of the YearThe Royal Burgh of Linlithgow Reed Band receive their Winner’s Award in the Community Arts Volunteer(s) of the Year category from Cllr. Angela Moohan

Scott MacGilchrist Sport Volunteer of the YearScott MacGilchrist receives his Winner’s Award in the Sport Volunteer(s) of the Year category from Gordon Allan, Relationship Manager of Unity Trust Bank

Eliburn Parents Friends & Carers Group Committee Board Members of the YearEliburn Parents, Friends & Carers Group receive their Winner’s Award in the Committee / Board Member(s) of the Year category from Neil Findlay MSP

Kyle Brookes Active Citizenship (under 16) awardKyle Brookes receives his Winner’s Award in the Active Citizenship (under 16) category from Colin Temple, Managing Director of Schuh

2013 Volunteers of the YearAll of the recipients of awards at Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian’s Volunteer Awards 2013

More photos from the awards ceremony can be found on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vsgwl/

Photos may also be purchased from the West Lothian Courier at http://tinyurl.com/pfyn9du by searching for ‘021213volyawards

Nancy Burgoyne receives BEM

Nancy BEM Photo by TJ SmithNancy Burgoyne was recently awarded the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

She was presented with her award by Mrs Isobel Brydie MBE, Lord-Lieutenant for West Lothian.

The presentation took place in the Rosebery Centre in the presence of a great many volunteers, dignitaries and service users and their families.

Nancy’s family was also present to see her receive the award in recognition for her 29 years of service to the Rosebery Centre.

Nancy paid tribute to the clients, staff and volunteers, past and present, for making her endeavours so rewarding.

She was delighted that her own family and her Rosebery family were able to share in the occasion.

Photo by TJ Smith


Befrienders WantedBefrienders Wanted

Everyone needs a friend.  Batman, Ant and Jack all have their friends, so why don’t you be a friend to someone with a learning disability?  You can make a difference, and improve the quality of someone’s life.

Are you 16 or over and ready to make a difference?  Are you patient, sensitive, honest, good at listening, caring, trustworthy, reliable and fun?  Only a few hours of your time, once a week or even less, is all you need.  Doing this you will gain new skills, work experience, get a good reference and make new friends.

If you are interested in becoming a befriender or would like more information about befriending please contact Audrey Stevenson or Jenny Caseby – Phone: 01506-650111 Email: vsg@vsgwl.org

Volunteer Mentors required

Voluntary Sector Gateway has secured funding to run a two year Mentoring Programme for 14 year olds in 11 of West Lothian’s secondary schools.  Each school will be allocated 10 mentoring places.  All the young people involved in the project will come under the category of needing More Choices More Chances.

The aims of the project are to provide trained and experienced Mentors to work with the young people on a regular weekly basis to achieve specified agreed outcomes.  The role of the Mentors will be to assist with the development of the young people by facilitating their stated path to a positive destination such as: further education, training, employment or volunteering through their voluntary engagement with the Mentoring process.  The Mentor will become a positive “Role Model” who can offer their own life experience and skills to help the young person achieve their goals.

As a Volunteer Mentor you will be trained and supported throughout the programme.  Training will take place at the Voluntary Sector Gateway in Bathgate from 6pm to 9pm over two evenings.  The next training dates are Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th April 6:00 to 9:00.

If you have a few hours to spare each week and feel you are able to inspire, encourage, motivate and support these young people and take part in this exciting project, contact Maureen Mancini or James Penman on 01506-650111 or email maureen.mancini @ vsgwl.org

Garden Angels Project

Garden AngelsClick on the graphic to download a PowerPoint presentation on the Garden Angels Project

What is Garden Angels About?
Who Can Volunteer?
Who Can Receive The Service?
Benefits for Clients
Benefits for Volunteers
Building Positive Relationships

If you want to volunteer with Garden Angels or you know of someone who could use their help, contact Jeneva Storme, Gardening Project Co-ordinator at the Gateway.  Tel: 01506-650111, e-mail: jeneva.storme@vsgwl.org, Garden Angels on Facebook

First Minister’s Reception in Edinburgh Castle

First Minister's Reception

On Tuesday 4th June, two West Lothian Saltire Awards recipients, Ross Pitbladdo and Lewis Allan were the guests of the First Minister at a reception in Edinburgh Castle at an event to celebrate the achievements of Saltire Award holders and the Scottish winners of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award.  Following the First Minister’s suggestion, Ross is inviting local Saltire Award holders to become Saltire Ambassadors – see below.

Saltire Ambassador ProjectSaltireAwards

Now that Saltire Awards have been running for over a year, we are looking for volunteers to take part in the Saltire Ambassador project.
The Saltire Awards are committed to involving volunteers in the delivery and development of the Awards at all stages.

Saltire Ambassadors can choose to get involved in a variety of roles such as:

The “Summit” Panel
Helping to organise Saltire “Challenge” events
Publicity & Communication e.g. the website, Facebook and Twitter
Helping to organise Award Ceremonies

Saltire Ambassadors will have the opportunity to further develop and build upon skills such as planning, organisation, committee roles, communication and group work skills.

The Summit is for an outstanding contribution to volunteering.

It is awarded to recognise those who have not only completed the “Ascent” but have exceeded expectations.
Volunteers must be nominated for the Award by the school or organisation they volunteer for.
The nominations are peer-assessed by a panel of Saltire Ambassadors who decide who merits the Award.

Saltire Ambassadors will be helped by the Gateway to set up the Summit Panel and will be supported in doing so but they alone will decide who should be awarded a Summit Saltire Award.

If you would like to become a Saltire Ambassador, please contact Saltire@vsgwl.org and we’ll invite you to an initial meeting of interested individuals.

Download more on the Ambassador Role and the Summit – Panel Guidance.

Saltire Awards

Saltire Awards is a new recognition programme designed for young people, between 12 & 25, engaged in volunteering.  There are 4 sections to the Awards – Challenge, Approach, Ascent and Summit.  Young people can progress through the various stages but also have the option to enter and exit the programme at any level.  On completion of a level the young volunteer will be presented with a Saltire Award certificate.  This offers complete flexibility making it more accessible to young people regardless of ability, personal circumstances and lifestyles.

A new interactive website has been developed to support the involvement of young people, schools and voluntary organisations in the Saltire Awards www.saltireawards.org.uk.  This will give a direct specific online presence and support package for the Saltire Awards.

The Saltire Awards dovetail neatly into the 4 key objectives of Curriculum for Excellence as they will enable young people to develop their capacities through volunteering as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.  The 4 sections to the Awards are as follows:


The age range for each section is flexible and dependent on individual circumstances but, for guidance and to facilitate delivering the Awards in schools and volunteer involving organisations, a suggested age range for each award is listed below:

Challenge 12 – 25  This is designed as an introduction to volunteering and is undertaken as part of a team.  Summit Recipients & Ambassadors may participate as enablers.
Approach 12 – 15 Young people under 16 but not ready to make a sustained commitment to volunteering or requiring extra support may prefer to start with the Approach.
Ascent 14 – 25  For any young person ready to make a sustained commitment to volunteering.
Summit 12 – 25  Ideally recipients should have completed the 200 hour Ascent but this is at the discretion of the Summit Panel.

How does the Saltire Awards programme work?

How do Young Scot Reward Points work?

Volunteers‘ Week 2013

VolWeek4During Volunteers‘ Week, we featured a number of volunteering opportunities at the Almondvale Centre in Livingston from the 1st to the 4th June (Saturday to Tuesday).

A number of local organisations joined us with their pop-up banners featured in the display.

We were able to distribute literature to the many potential volunteers who visited the stand.



The Community Toolkit

This resource has been developed for and with the help of community groups to help improve skills and knowledge and bring benefits to local communities. There are guidelines on a range of topics, including setting up and running a community group, legal requirements and good practice, planning and fundraising for a particular project and where to obtain useful statistical data on the local area. To access, click here West Lothian Community Toolkit

West Lothian Council Life Stages

The Life Stages Outcome Planning Programme is a substantial, strategic programme of change led by West Lothian Council working across the Community Planning Partnership (CPP). The overall aim of the programme is to enable the CPP to plan and deliver more effective interventions to tackle social inequalities and build successful communities across West Lothian using a Life Stage approach targeting deprived geographical areas. The Programme recognises that those who are most at risk (and generate the greatest expense in terms of demands on services) often lead complex lives, and hence focuses on redesigning services around the needs of the target group using a partnership approach. Life Stages is about being clear when people most need our support, why they most need our support,which people have the greatest need for our support, and what support they most need from us. There is a toolkit available to assist planning and delivering services that meet the Life Stages outcomes - The making changes happen support guide to implementing Life Stages from the Community Planning web page.

life stages charts final versions,

Training and Meeting Rooms for Hire

For more information download our Room Hire leaflet or contact vsg@vsgwl.org (preferred rates for members).

One of our meeting rooms

Outreach Volunteer Service (Previously Library Outreach Service)

We require volunteers to deliver books to the homebound,if you have spare time during the week maybe you could help ?

Go to the link Outreach Volunteer Service for more information.

PVG Scheme

In February 2011, the Scottish Government introduced the new PVG membership scheme which replaced and improved upon the prior disclosure arrangements for people who work with vulnerable groups. This mean new application forms, new certificates, new guidance and new criteria against which posts and positions must be assessed before an application can be processed.

Click here for detailed information on the PVG Scheme

Click here for further information relating to the implementation of the PVG Scheme



© 2009- Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian
Company Number - SC244154
Charity Number - SC027612