Volunteering Matters staff and volunteers were welcomed to the Palace of Holyroodhouse this week for the Royal Garden Party. This is the third year that volunteers have been honoured at the event, which aims to celebrate individuals making a positive impact in their local community. The attendees are nominated through sponsors, and representing Volunteering Matters were befrienders James, Johnathon and Sarah, and employee volunteer Claire.

Our volunteers and guests from projects running across Scotland were nominated to attend as a gesture of thanks for their commitment to their roles supporting vulnerable people in the community.

About our volunteers

Befrienders James, Sarah and Johnathon
Left to right: James, Sarah and Johnathon

James has been a Volunteer Befriender since 2015 and has supported 3 isolated and disadvantaged children and young people. Since the summer of 2018, he has been employed as Volunteer Manager at Volunteering Matters, primarily tasked with the day-to-day management and coordination of the North Lanarkshire Befriending Project. James said “I am honoured to be able to represent Volunteering Matters at such a wonderful event”.

Also a volunteer with North Lanarkshire Befriending Project is Johnathan, who has volunteered with Volunteering Matters since 2016 and has befriended 3 young people during this time. He has been an outstanding volunteer who has given a wonderful commitment to our organisation and has made a significant difference to the lives of the children who have benefited from his support. He is currently studying at University to become a social worker, a passion that has been realised through his time as a volunteer.

Launched in 2018, Clackmannanshire Befriending Project follows the same model as our project in North Lanarkshire. Sarah was in her 4th year at the University of Stirling when she first joined Volunteering Matters as a befriender in Clackmannanshire. She spends 2-3 hours every fortnight befriending a young girl who is isolated and vulnerable, and she has helped build the young person’s confidence and self-esteem by getting involved in lots of different activities. Thanks to Sarah’s encouragement, the young person has made new friends at school and in her community. The young person said “Sarah is really kind and I really enjoy spending time with her!”

The last person honoured at the event was Claire, who works for QBE Insurance Group and is an active employee volunteer. She has taken part in a number of Community Action Days in Glasgow for at least five years, and has supported lots of groups in the community from running employability sessions at a school to volunteering with older people. She is a very committed volunteer who has motivated her colleagues to give back through volunteering, so it seemed only fitting she be celebrated at the Garden Party!`