Guest Blog: Nicola’s Award
Nicola! Congratulations!! Last week you won two awards at the STRIVE Inspiring Volunteer Awards. How does it feel to win not only an Inspiring Volunteer Award in your category of Health and Wellbeing but also win the overall title of East Lothian Volunteer of the year 2017?
I was shocked when I got Volunteer of the Year Award. I never expected the second award. My face went like a beetroot. I have won awards before, but I’ve never thought I would get anything like Volunteer of the Year Award. There were so many good projects and amazing volunteers there – it felt like winning an Oscar!
So, what does it mean to you, winning such an award?
It makes me feel like I am part of East Lothian. This is where I am coming from and they recognised a lot of work I’ve done and understood my efforts and my work. I have got some award on a local level before, but never anything so big. To go up there, to Inspiring Volunteering Awards by Strive, gives me a sense of achievement that was recognised by everyone in East Lothian.
Are there any thanks you would like to say?
Yes, I would like the say thanks to:
- ELCAP – they have been great. They support me and are very flexible. This way I can do what I want and they help me a lot!
- NBC – they are my East Lothian pals. I get to see them a lot through the activities and they are very supportive.
- My family in Dunbar – for everything, but especially my niece and my nephew. They inspire me a lot.
- My best friends – who are always there for me: Gail, Colin, Katrina and Sarah. You are all very special to me!
- And finally get2gether for making all this possible. I work with them directly and I sometimes do things in a different way, and there my ideas are not only listened to but heard.
Will you continue volunteering? What are your plans for the future?
I will of course continue with my work. I have some ideas already for the new year but I would also like for more people to get involved with the Short Life Working Group to plan the club nights at the ATIK.
My table will of course continue and I am looking to expand to other areas.
I will have a table at two events in East Lothian, at the Brunton next year. This will be with my Stay Up Late information and other projects, depending on the theme of the night.
I would also like to start working at get2gether events in other areas, like at the Loanhead Miners. I also hope that in the future I can get more information out, about Gig Buddies and other relevant things. I am also open to work with more people and at other events, like at Mayfield Disco, for example.
What is in it for you – what do you get out of volunteering?
It’s exciting and it gives me so much to look forward to. It keeps me going and then on the nights when I’m working at my table people say to me “wow, this is great!”. This means so much to me. I see them getting excited, jumping around, clubbing. I too, enjoy it and I love when people come to the table and we get chatting about what sort of things they like.
I love chatting to people and through this meet new people as well as to see old friends!
Another thing is that I’ve had to learn to travel on buses! This is a great thing for me and means I can get from my home in Dunbar all over East Lothian and into Edinburgh.
I’ve learnt more about money as well. I have a budget for each event and have to bring the receipts back to the office – no receipts, no money back! That’s what Sylvia in the office says.
I do loads of research on the internet when I’m at the library in Dunbar. I’m always full of ideas for themes for the party nights.
I really enjoyed working with one of my best friends, Katrina, who was helping me with tattoos for the Halloween Howl at the Brunton. This was the most successful table yet. People were queuing up. We are such a good team.
How inspiring!! You can visit Nicola’s Award winning station at the Magic Wonderland Club Night @ the ATIK on the 14th December and see what she has in store for you this time!
Thank you Nicola and once again thank you for all your work from everyone at get2gether!