Youth Awards Launched to Recognise Volunteering Commitment

14th February 2023

A new awards programme has been launched by the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust to recognise the achievements of young volunteers aged 16-25 years, who go that extra mile clocking up a considerable amount of volunteering hours.

The Trust is remarkably proud of the fact that it has a total of 83 young volunteers helping our patients and clients.

The “Youth Volunteer Awards” recognise those who have committed their time and energy to help improve the health care experience of patients and clients.  The awards have three categories, “Gold” for young people who have volunteered 150 hours, “Silver” for 100 hours and “Bronze” for 50 hours.

Scooping the Gold award for an amazing 150 hours of volunteering was Mikayla Kyle who commenced in July 2021.  Mikayla has volunteered as a Meeter & Greeter, Ward Volunteer and Emergency Department Volunteer in the Ulster Hospital. The Bronze award for 50 hours of volunteering was presented to Mark Moore who started volunteering in September 2021 as a Meeter and Greeter in the Ulster Hospital and to Mark Stinson who started his journey in August 2022 and volunteers in the Emergency Department in the Ulster Hospital.

Gold Award recipient Mikayla explained how much she enjoys her Volunteering role by saying, “I had no idea how much I would get out of volunteering when I began and It’s crazy to think that I have completed 150 hours in this role. I really enjoy meeting the variety of people that I come into contact with on the wards and hearing about their lives.”

Delighted to recognise the achievements, Volunteer Services Manager, Sonya Duffy said, “Every day I am inspired by the young people who volunteer with us. They are a mixed bunch, some very confident and focused and others less confident but brave enough to give it a go.  They have great character and values and are willing to give of themselves to help others.

The South Eastern Trust is keen to provide them with worthwhile opportunities to develop personally, learn new skills, improve their CV and help with their UCAS to enable them to take the next steps in their future.  The Youth Volunteer Awards are a way of recognising their fantastic contribution, helping others through volunteering.”

Congratulating the first recipients of the new awards, Trust Chairman, Jonathan Patton added, “Volunteering across the Trust offers young people the chance to receive valuable work place experiences, develop their knowledge and skills and to learn how to be part of a Health and Social Care team.   The young people bring a kind, caring attitude to their role and they are dedicated to helping others.  I would like to thank all of our volunteers but especially these young volunteers for their dedication and in selflessly giving up hundreds of hours of their time to volunteer.”

“These awards are a way of showing appreciation to our volunteers for the amazing work that they do.”

The Youth Volunteer Awards are part of the Trust’s overarching Volunteer Development Programme  with the ethos of “Volunteer Today for a Better Tomorrow”.  The programme offers opportunities for volunteers of all ages to further develop their knowledge and skills to help achieve their dreams and aspirations. This may be through training in Health & Social Care topics, e.g. Basic Life Support and Zero to Suicide training to equip them to help family, friends or others in the community at a time of crisis; or by offering help and guidance to develop their CV and providing training in competency based interview skills to help them find employment.