FIFE’S voluntary sector enjoyed a night of celebration at a glitzy awards ceremony held at Rothes Halls in Glenrothes.
Nearly 300 people attended ‘Celebrating Fife’s Voluntary Sector’, an event funded by Celebrating Fife 2010 and organised jointly by Volunteer Centre Fife, CVS Fife and VONEF to recognise the fantastic work done by volunteers and voluntary organisations in Fife.
The event was a great success and a welcome ‘pat-on-the-back’ to the voluntary sector in Fife during difficult financial times.
Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and patron of several local and national voluntary organisations, was in attendance to present the awards and to offer her support to the voluntary sector in Fife.
She later ‘tweeted’ that the list of nominees was ‘inspiring’ and that she ‘Loves the power of people doing good’.
A film made by Adam Smith College students to showcase Fife’s voluntary sector added greatly to the entertainment provided on the night, and feedback from those present was overwhelmingly positive.
One attendee commented that the night was ‘wonderful’, whilst another said that ‘it was nice to spend an evening with some of the brightest stars of humanity’.
Ron Nugent, manager of Volunteer Centre Fife, said “It is a privilege for us to be able to recognise the often outstanding work undertaken by volunteers and organisations within Fife’s voluntary sector.
“So often their efforts go without remark or reward, therefore it is an honour to be given the opportunity to acknowledge the great difference they can make to people’s lives.”
Safe Space, who provide support to survivors of sexual abuse, won the Inspirational Organisation Award, whilst the Most Enterprising Organisation Award went to Markinch Playgroup whose fortunes have been turned around by recent fund-raising and awareness-raising campaigns.
St Ninian’s Charity Shop and Community Cafe in Glenrothes, which doubled its turnover in less than a year, won the New Organisation/Organisation Growth Award, while Fairway Fife were the winners in the Social Inclusion category for their work with young adults who have learning difficulties.
The Open Category Award went to St Andrews Voluntary Service (SVS) – an organisation run by a team of St Andrews University student volunteers to promote volunteering and co-ordinate volunteering opportunities for students.
The winners of the Volunteering Team Award were the drivers at Victoria Hospice for their tireless work to help improve the lives of patients and their carers.
Dunfermline lad Michael Hunter won the Young/Student Volunteering Award for his work with the Abbeyview Forum and the Abbeyview Day Centre.
Two women who volunteer in Kirkcaldy were also successful on the night.
Evelyn McLeod, a volunteer with the Samaritans, won the Mature Volunteer Award in recognition of over 32 years of service with the organisation while Helen Buchanan, who has overcome significant health problems to volunteer with Fife Society for the Blind, won the Give Something Back/Moving On Award.
The Open Category Award was presented to Dysart Caulfield, a volunteer with LINK (East Fife Mental Health Adolescent Befriending Project), for his outstanding commitment to his befriendee during particularly difficult times.