Voluntary Action Lochaber hails group’s new award

Rachel Tonks, left, and Dani Drummon with the new award. Photograph: Johnpaul Peebles, Abrightside Photography. NO F22 Volunteer Advocacy plaque
Racheal Tonks, left, and Dani Drummon with the new award. Photograph: Johnpaul Peebles, Abrightside Photography. NO F22 Volunteer Advocacy plaque

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Voluntary Action Lochaber (VAL) says it is delighted that Advocacy Highland is now officially a ‘volunteer friendly’ organisation after achieving the quality standard award.

Advocacy Highland (AH) achieved this accolade for the way it involves and manages volunteers in its organisation following the five strands of the Volunteer Friendly Award standards.

Dani Drummon, volunteer development officer with VAL, said: ‘The award is nationally recognised and designed to support, recognise and reward groups or organisations that are good at involving volunteers and demonstrates excellent volunteer management practice.’

AH currently has 17 volunteers. It has volunteers on its board of directors, as well as volunteer advocates and citizen advocates in its citizen advocacy project in Inverness.

AH needs volunteers to get involved with supporting people to make their own decisions which affect their lives, and to be listened to and respected for who they are, sticking with them through thick and thin.

One volunteer said: ‘Having heard about Advocacy Highland in a retirement course I attended, I applied to train as a volunteer.

‘I was giving support, making possible suggestions but empowering individuals to choose their way forward.’

Rachel Tonks, Advocate Lochaber for AH, added: ‘It has been really important to Advocacy Highland to achieve the Volunteer Friendly Award as a standard to support our volunteers and to have moving forward out of the pandemic when recruitment can begin again.

‘Volunteers enrich an organisation, and we believe that they should be valued.

‘Thanks to Dani Drummon at Voluntary Action Lochaber and everyone at Advocacy Highland in supporting me to achieve this for our organisation.’