Celebrating our brilliant volunteers

A blog post by Juliette Camburn

Juliette Camburn
Senior Officer, Community Initiatives

Posted 31/05/2021

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It’s Volunteers’ Week and we want to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to the incredible people who volunteer their time to directly support our work to combat climate change, tackle litter and improve and enhance our country.

In my role as lead for our Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood initiatives, I have the real privilege of working with a group of individuals who give their time freely to support over 200 groups across the country who are cleaning, greening and making their places sustainable and beautiful for residents and visitors (human and natural) to enjoy.  Attending training courses, offering mentor support, writing articles for the newsletter, presenting at online Q&A sessions, organising judging and assessing tours, touring the country on visits, writing reports….this is just a snapshot of what their role involves and which we just couldn’t run the initiatives without. You can find out about our judges here and our assessors here.

We also have volunteers involved in the running of our Green Flag Award for Parks and our Beach Awards, and again, we couldn’t provide the support we do to local authorities and groups entering these awards without their time and expertise.

Lastly, but by no means least, we have a talented bunch of volunteers supporting our work at a strategic level – our Charity Trustee’s – who ensure that Keep Scotland Beautiful is steered in the right direction and can keep providing the vital support, resources, and recognition that the people, groups, organisations we work with so deserve.

So, thank you – you’re all amazing and we love working with you.

A few of our volunteers have shared why they volunteer their time to support us and some of their favourite places/activities:

“I became an assessor to share my love of gardening and all things horticulture. I get the opportunity to visit a range of amazing projects, often discovering hidden gems on my own doorstep!"

Linda Evans, It’s Your Neighbourhood assessor

Newhaven, It's Your Neighbourhood

Aden Park, Aberdeenshire - Green Flag Award winner

I became a Green Flag judge with the aim of hopefully expanding my knowledge and experience within parks and open spaces across Scotland which I felt would be beneficial in my working and personal life.  Having been judging for a number of years, I have been extremely lucky to visit a number of stunning sites including parks, country parks, cemeteries and allotments in Scotland and England, meeting a host of dedicated staff and volunteers and gaining insights into how similar issues are dealt with in different places along the way.

“Initially I was fortunate to be supported in this by my employer, Aberdeenshire Council and by my wife who was adamant that I should find something to do when I retired (which I did 2 years ago)!

“Judging Green Flag Parks has allowed me to visit sites that I knew as a child and visit sites that I had never heard of and would probably not have visited otherwise. I have also met very knowledgeable and interesting co–judges from different work backgrounds and support from Keep Scotland Beautiful is only a phone call or email away. Judging has been a privilege and a pleasure that I hope to carry on for a long time.”

Iain Thomson, Green Flag judge

I have been volunteering for KSB for about 10 years now and helping with the assessments for the Beach Awards has become the highlight of my Summer. What could be better than visiting some of the nicest beaches in Scotland.

“By carrying out the assessments you learn to look at the beaches more critically and to appreciate the hard work of the beach managers and local volunteers who look after the beaches all year round.  This role gives you an opportunity to highlight good practice and to suggest improvements at some beaches so that the visitor experience meets their expectations. It is always rewarding if you return to a beach the following year and a suggestion you have made has been implemented, it makes you feel you have made a difference.”

Alex Macgregor, Beach Assessor

Stuart McKill, Charity Trustee

I feel extremely honoured to be able to work with the great team at KSB, that includes the employees, fellow Trustees and the many volunteers, who all seek to make a difference and help deliver our vision - Scotland is clean, green and sustainable.

“We are fortunate to live in an amazing country and working with KSB I truly hope that I can make a positive contribution and support our mission - to change behaviour to improve the quality of people’s lives, their wellbeing and the places that they care for.”

Stuart McKill, Charity Trustee

It's not just our official volunteers we’d like to thank, it is the thousands of supporters of our work across Scotland – all of you volunteering your time to get involved in our activities and programmes, from the ongoing Clean Up Scotland’s Summer Clean, to Canal College, to those giving up their time to support community climate action.

Keep an eye on our social media channels (@KSBScotland) during Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) for posts thanking our volunteers and also all of our supporters across Scotland who give up their time to keep Scotland beautiful - making our country better for us and for our planet.

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