Meet the finalists: Volunteer Youth Worker (sponsored by Young Scot)
Volunteering is the very backbone of the youth work sector. Quite simply, without the amazing volunteers contributing over 13 million hours of unpaid work each year, youth work would barely exist in Scotland. Here we celebrate the youth workers who give up their time to ensure our young people have a brighter future.
This category is sponsored by Young Scot, the national youth information and citizenship charity for 11-26 year olds in Scotland.
Let's meet the finalists!
Rebecca Johnson, See Me Scotland
Described as “a true role model of youth work’s nature and purpose”, Rebecca has championed ending mental health stigma and discrimination through one to one support, supporting other volunteers, inspirational speaking and delivering workshops and activities across Scotland.
She demonstrates an incredible drive and commitment to providing quality youth work, juggling academic work and paid employment while contributing over 700 hours of voluntary work for See Me.
Often working in some of See Me’s most challenging settings with young people and staff, Rebecca has developed her skills as a trainer and now delivers her own training sessions to key group in targeted settings. So far she has facilitated mental health literary training for over 1200 pupils in Borders and North Ayrshire.
Chris Attkins, Arran Youth Foundations
Chris has demonstrated unwavering commitment to Arran Youth Foundations and is now the bedrock of Friday night activities for young people in Brodick and the surrounding areas.
Using his years of film and TV experience with ITV, Chris delivers a varied programme of activities, including film nights, sports, music, arts and crafts, positive mental health activities and issue-based discussions – often to vulnerable young people who have limited access to other services on the island.
Thanks to Chris’ involvement in the Mary Davies Trust as a psychologist, AYF youth workers have also been able to refer young people to receive free psychological support. Chris even offers his own services as a counsellor for free to anyone who needs it.
Chris has recently been commended for his recent excellent work in supporting a young person with Down’s syndrome to integrate with the group, and he has even developed a free attendance logging app for AYF in his spare time.
Sally Nimmo, See Me Scotland
After experiencing stigma and discrimination in relation to her own mental health, Sally began volunteering at See Me in 2018 so that she might help spare other young people the same experience.
Sally’s work with visual and digital mediums is fundamental to her volunteering role at See Me. She has added immense value to See Me’s work through the production of specialised digital tools to communicate her experiences around mental health stigma, often using her own work a student at Glasgow School of Art as a starting point.
Through her creative and digital expertise, Sally has supported young people to take a lead role during the planning and delivery of the Year of Young People; promote the Feels FM platform; facilitate youth work training; and influence policy and practice at events through presentations to the Mental Health Directorate.
Sally continues to innovate in her own work as a volunteer and raise the profile of young people’s experiences through unique and creative work.