On the night we also took donations and raised £202 for Movember Kirknewton Inn group and £50 towards the Balerno High School 2G pitch.
SPORTS VOLUNTEER – Aiden Murray
This award goes to someone who organises fixtures, regular coaches plus all that goes with it from trips away to making lunch etc. Due to the poor sport facilities in Kirknewton many kids go to external sporting clubs, including Currie Rugby Club, and have hugely benefited from the experience. Giving up most Sunday mornings to coach a bunch of kids is a pressure but the winner of the Sports Volunteer award is enthusiastic and loves seeing the team do so well.
BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – Hilly Cow Wigwams with special mention to ProSigns for X Box fundraising campaign
ARTS VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR – Potter Around and the Yarnbombers
In February 2014, when the Green Room opened, a group of people came forward and suggested producing a tapastry for our wall that will feature aspects of our community. It is a work in progress and will be available to see on our wall soon! But we felt this was just an aspect of the work in arts and crafts that a local business and a group of guerilla knitting rebels has given the village over the last two years.
ACTIVE CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – Kenny Birch
After the Community Consultation of 2010 KCDT conducted a skills and volunteer survey to help put some of the projects into practice. One of the people who came forward has worked above and beyond the call of duty. They helped, as a volunteer, to project manage the build of our £140,000 zero energy project ‘The Green Room’. That one sentence does not capture the amount of work this person put into a building that at times was as challenging as it is unique in terms of its energy efficiency. It is quite clear to many of us that the project would not have come in on time and budget without the help of Kenny Birch.
YOUNG VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR AWARD – The Youth Club
EVENT OF THE YEAR – Kirknewton Gala
So much hard work throughout the year goes in to preparing this event each year. The committee research what kind of things the people of all ages in the village would like to see at their gala day and try to provide this. Its hard to please everyone and sometimes they don’t but it doesnt put them off. Every year there are different activities to try out and a fun day is had by all.
Following the publication of the Community Development Plan Duncan came forward to develop cycle routes in Selm Muir Wood. Little did he know that we’d ask him to look at a possible route from the centre of the village to said wood so people young and old would be able to walk and enjoy the beauty of our rural location without relying on a car. We are not there yet but Selm Muir Wood, working with the Forestry Commission, has many improved routes with the Forestry Commission so impressed with our volunteer efforts and attendance to bushcraft events they are keen to develop the wood further and run more events, such as this years Easter Bunny Hunt! This work provided inspiration for us to improve the local community woodland by cutting down trees, woodchipping them to improve the path, using old fencing for the borders and improving the fencing.
Julie normally does a tremendous amount for the Gala anyway, but it has been particularly striking this year. They have continued to work hard for the Gala at a time when others may have stepped back from their gala tasks. They are worthy of the award anyway, but particularly so this year. They have worked so hard to make the Gala an amazing success,are always positive with a lovely smile.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Mabel Hope
We all volunteer for a reason. Some do it to win awards (but not usually!) Some do it to keep their mind and body active. Some do it to help their kids school or club. Some do it to pursue their hobby. Some do it because helping others makes them feel good and they get something back in return.
But what makes someone win a lifetime achievement award.
Here are a few comments about Mabel.
They have endless energy for helping others. They give lots of time and effort. They are a regular volunteer at the Kosy Kafe and looks after tea and coffee after the Kirknewton Church Service. They are unstinting in their helpfulness.
GROUP OF THE YEAR – Allotments Association
This group have come a long way in a few short years. Five years ago they were just a group of people with a common interest in growing our own food. A lot of hard work followed: trying to find a suitable site; growing their membership; raising money; and finally, in March 2012 they took on our site at Overton Farm thanks to the generosity of Charles Welwood, the landowner. Now at the end of our third growing season they have a full site and a waiting list for plots. It has taken a lot of hard work and enthusiasm by the committee and the rest of the plot holders to get to this stage. They’ve raised funds through various means (including running events, baking lots of goodies, running competitions, delivering leaflets) as well as applying for grants, had work days at the site to help clear things and grown lots of healthy fruit and vegetables. This couldn’t have happened without a lot of time and effort from everyone involved and the help and advice they’ve received from the development trust, the community council and our local councillors. None of them thought that they would get to this stage so soon or be able to grow so much. They have such a variety of people involved and it’s great to see the various kids being so enthusiastic about growing vegetables. This year they have managed to fund the replacement of the roof on our communal shed, an effort complicated (and made more expensive) by the old roof being made of asbestos. They believe in being part of the community so run the plant stall at the school’s Spring Fair and run a stall at the village Gala Day. They continue to look at ways of raising funds so that we can afford to make further improvements to the allotment site. The allotments association is a fantastic group of people who deserve recognition for all that they have achieved so far – which is why they win Community Group of the Year 2014.
Kirknewton Volunteer of the Year 2014 – Nikki Thomson
Nikki, in her own quiet, humble way has made a huge difference in the community. Kirknewton has been very lucky to have them involved with the community.
They have served as an office bearer in the playgroup and babies and toddlers. They help anyone who asks and is usually a first point of call for friends in need.
They have spent the past 5 years volunteering in the surrounding area of West Lothian as a breastfeeding peer supporter. This has involved them working with new mums & babies in their own homes, on the phone, attending the east Calder support group on a weekly basis and St. John’s breastfeeding clinic. They have recently commenced midwifery training & I’m sure all the mums and babies in & around Kirknewton wish her well.
Firstly thank you to all for attending, nominating and to everyone in the community who volunteers.
Thank you to Charles Wellwood and the Stables for allowing us to use your wonderful venue (for free!)
Thank you to our suppliers Volunteer Sector Gateway for the certificates, Mark Scott Photography, Ambience, Isla Hall flowers, Hendersons, Ross Blair for the technical support, Maximillion for the lights, Potter Around for the Awards, Louise Wright who got us a discount at Sainsburys, Cyrenians for the Apples.
Graeme Morrice and Carl John for giving out awards.
Thanks to the team who helped Marianne Marx, Nina Humphry, Kirsty Hall, the Apple Peeling Team, Anne Pinkerton, Stewart McKenna.
Thanks to everyone who helped tidy up at the end of the night so we got home early!
Thanks to Zoe and Jennifer too!