Archive for the ‘awards’ Category

Carers of West Lothian have been accredited with the PQASSO Quality Mark at Level 3

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Carers of West Lothian has been accredited with the PQASSO Quality Mark at Level 3, the FIRST organisation in Scotland to have obtained the accolade at its highest level.

The organisation, which provides information and support to unpaid carers of all ages and in all caring situations across the whole of West Lothian, is delighted to have received the award marking a huge achievement in its journey towards continual organisational improvement and quality.

PQASSO is a standard tailor made quality assurance system for small organisations and awards are granted following a rigorous external accreditation process.  The Quality Mark is awarded at levels 1, 2 and 3.

Mary-Denise McKernan (CEO) stated that “PQASSO focuses on putting the needs of our service users (carers) first.  It helps us improve the quality, type and range of carer support services we provide through continuous monitoring, evaluation and review, and regular carer feedback.  It was a lot of hard work looking at all our systems and making sure everything linked together.  At times we asked ourselves if it was all worth it!  However, it definitely was worth all the hard work and in some respects PQASSO forced us into doing the jobs that we would otherwise have put off until another day”.

The organisation provides a range of services to vulnerable people caring for a family member or friend, from the provision of relevant information and emotional support, to facilitating peer support groups, individual counselling sessions, therapeutic interventions, and social opportunities or time out from their caring role.

A carer who has benefited from Carers of West Lothian’s services commented on how “receiving support from Carers of West Lothian and participating in peer support groups has taken away the feeling of isolation which sometimes overwhelms you in the caring role.  You realise that you are not alone in this role and that is very comforting”.

Other carers have made similar comments about the difference support from the organisation has made for them:

“Now I have joined Carers of West Lothian I am happy that I have found help at last, and I am not alone”.

“I have been very impressed with the services offered and can honestly say the kind, caring staff have helped me with a ‘listening ear’, advice and information when I felt completely overwhelmed and alone.  I didn’t think I would be eligible for any help, but they made me feel valued and worthy of support.”

The PQASSO journey has ensured that the organisation is robust and provides a level of assurance for funders of the organisation’s commitment to continuous improvement and providing high quality services.

For further information on Carers of West Lothian you can visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Carers WL

Discovery Volunteer Awards for over-50s

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Discovery AwardAim

To challenge the over 50s to discover new strengths, and hidden talents.

How does it work?

There are three levels – bronze, silver and gold – all divided into four sections and each with an agreed timescale.
Each level has four sections, Service in the Community; Hobby or Interest; Recreational Pursuit; and Journey of Discovery.
Each of the sections has different timescales.

The range of activities is as vast as your imagination and will challenge you to levels you may not think yourself capable of – whether it be Service in the Community, a Hobby or Interest, a Recreational Pursuit or a Journey of Discovery.

So with a little money, a little bit of your time and as much effort as you are prepared to put in, you too could join the many people who have enjoyed the sheer exhilaration and feeling of self-satisfaction from becoming a Discoverer.


The long held idea came into being in September 1987.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Advisor for Dundee, and an Outdoor Community Education worker along with six enthusiastic women and four equally enthusiastic men began to put together a programme of activity and self-development, and the Discovery Award was born!
Discovery is a nationwide scheme, with an ever increasing number of groups throughout the United Kingdom, organised by The Discovery Award Association.


Colin Mitchell
Discovery Award Regional Co-ordinator
23 Overton Crescent
East Calder
EH53 0RS

Phone: 01506 882678 or 07876 017897

Allison Barr is crowned as West Lothian Courier’s first Local Hero

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Allison BarrAllison has been honoured for her work with the Team Jak Foundation

Allison, mum of Jak Trueman who died of cancer last year, has been chosen by The Centre to win the first Local Hero Award in recognition of her fantastic work at Team Jak Foundation, which is The Centre’s charity partner, since Jak passed away.

Organising everything from fundraising balls and cycle challenges, to bowling and rally events for the last 18 months, Allison and her fantastic team of over 30 volunteers have raised an incredible £290,000 to date.

More on this story here

West Lothian schoolgirl completes Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Jemma MacKayJemma MacKay, a third year pupil at James Young High School in Livingston, is one of the first 100 participants to complete the challenge in the UK.


Britain’s Best Volunteer is back! Nominations are open

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Small Charities CoalitionWe are delighted to welcome the return of Britain’s Best Volunteer in partnership with Markel UK.
This award celebrates our fantastic volunteers across the country who help our small charities thrive. Small charities are the backbone of communities, however sadly the valuable work of their volunteers often slips under the radar. Now is the opportunity for volunteers to shed light on their work and achievements, as well as the mission of their charity.
Nominations are now open!

We want you to tell us about someone you know who goes the extra mile to help others and is a true inspiration to the charity sector. It doesn’t matter how you know them – they could be a friend, family member, colleague or even yourself, and can hold any position at a charity provided it is unpaid (trustees included!). Whatever the case, we want to hear their story and why you think they are such an inspiration to others. To nominate someone for Britain’s Best Volunteer click here.

The winner will receive:
– £1,000 in holiday vouchers for their own personal use.
– £1,250 to donate to the charity (or charities) of their choice.
Five Runner-up finalists will receive:
– An Apple watch.
– £250 to donate to the charity (or charities) of their choice.

This year, we are delighted to offer each finalist access to a PR and social media specialist to offer advice and support on how to promote your nomination and get votes – for free.
Last year saw a brilliant response with over 700 nominations made! The winner was Alice Pulford, founder and volunteer of the LoveSupportUnite Foundation that built and continues to support the Tilinanu orphanage in Malawi. As a result, Alice received coverage from a variety of media channels including; the Leicester Mercury, Camden New Journal, BBC Radio and BBC East Midlands Today TV.

Following the nomination stage, a judging panel will select a shortlist of nominees who will be eligible to win Britain’s Best Volunteer award. Members of the public will then be able to vote online for their favourite finalist.
Nominations are open until 20th February. To make your nomination visit click here.
The finalists are announced on 2nd March, and the second stage of voting is then open until 20th March.

Scottish Charity Awards open for nominations!

Friday, January 15th, 2016

Who will you nominate?awards-2016-main-banner-apply-now-940x400-2

Has your organisation excelled this year?
Has a member of staff or volunteer shown outstanding dedication to your cause?
Has your campaign mobilised an army of supporters and achieved great change?

We’re looking for entries in seven categories:

Charity of the Year
Celebrating Communities
Perfect Partnership
Cracking Campaign
Charity Champion
Digital Dynamo
Exceptional Employee – New award

All finalists will be included in the People’s Choice public vote, giving organisations a chance to encourage their supporters to get involved in the awards and vote for their entry.

The deadline for entries is Wednesday, 18 March 2016.

Celebrating Creative Volunteers with Epic Awards

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Epic AwardsAre you part of a cultural group that’s doing something new or interesting? Or do you know a creative group in your area that deserves recognition?

From singing to knitting, amateur dramatics to painting, across the UK and Republic of Ireland over 60,000 voluntary groups regularly get creative purely for the love of it. The Epic Awards shine a light on their achievements, and the opportunities for creative participation they bring to local communities.

Run by Voluntary Arts, The Epic Awards are an annual celebration of amateur cultural activity. A winner and runner-up is chosen from each of the nations – England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales – as well as specialist awards for those working with young people and disabled people, and a ‘People’s Choice’ award voted for by the public.

The 2015 Epic winners include a Liverpool group who converted a disused flyover into a social and creative space for the community; Kircudbright Art and Crafts Trails’ fantastic summer showcase of local artists; and Knitted Knockers UK, an online network of knitters who make prostheses for women who have experienced breast cancer, who won the ‘People’s Choice’ award.

Previous winners have seen the profile of their group raised, gone on to make interesting collaborations, and won other awards. Groups can be large or small – it’s the creativity and community engagement that counts.

Information about previous winners, and nomination forms, can be found at Deadline: 7 December 2015. The Epic Awards are supported by Spirit of 2012.

Epic Awards Facebook page @EpicAwards

Police Scotland Youth Volunteers Passing Out Parade

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

PSYV October 3rdThe West Lothian Police Scotland Youth Volunteers Passing Out Parade took place on Saturday 3rd October at the Civic Centre in Livingston.

The event marked the initial training of a group of 24 volunteers and celebrated their achievement so far. Inspector Craig Rankine of PSYV HQ remarked that this event had seen the best turnout of parents and family at any similar event in Scotland

The Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) programme aims to strengthen the relationship with the Police and young people, breaking down barriers and promoting positive role models.

Police Scotland Youth Volunteers promotes a practical way for young people to understand policing by supporting the Police in their local area through volunteering. As part of this, young people are given a chance for their voice to be heard and encouraged to promote good citizenship.

The programme is open to all young people aged between 13 – 18, this allows those people to get an insight into policing in Scotland and inspire individuals to participate positively within their communities.

For more information visit the Police Scotland Youth Volunteer Twitter @PolScotPSYV, their Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

Saltire Awards Success in West Lothian

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Saltire Awards has been running in West Lothian for three years and the number of certificates awarded has risen threefold over those years

The number of new volunteers registering with the Voluntary Sector Gateway has also risen over that period and, for the first time, exceeded 1,000 registrations last year

Awards and Registrations

Saltire Ambassador ProjectSaltireAwards

Now that Saltire Awards have been running for some time, 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 and we’ll invite you to a meeting of interested individuals.

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

West Lothian woman shortlisted for 2015 Scottish Fundraising Awards

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Val McGavinVal McGavin from Uphall, has been shortlisted for the Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year Award to celebrate her Moondance concept, which has raised over £24,000 for Breast Cancer Now.

Despite being diagnosed with breast cancer herself in 2011, Val has worked tirelessly to develop Moondance, a fun-filled, ladies-only dance evening which is becoming increasingly well-known throughout Scotland.

The first Moondance was held at Uphall Golf Club in 2011 and since then there has been 19 events across Scotland.

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

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