Pupil Participation Forum 2016

Pupil Participation Forum: Aberdeenshire Youth Volunteer Awards

Aberdeenshire’s Pupil Participation Forum, which consists of ambassadors from seventeen secondary schools across Aberdeenshire, recently organised and hosted the Aberdeenshire Youth Volunteer Awards.   The awards were designed to recognise, and celebrate, young people’s achievements through volunteering and the positive impact they have on local communities.

The awards were held on Thursday 10th November at Thainstone House Hotel. There were six categories people across Aberdeenshire had nominated on. These were: Ongoing Philanthropy, Community, Creativity, Young People, Family, Health and Wellbeing.  The Pupil Participation Forum received 87 inspirational nominations for all the above categories and it was a challenge to select the winners. It was very encouraging to hear all the wonderful volunteer work that regularly takes place across the Aberdeenshire and how young people continuously shape and influence the life of others.

Many important guests and speakers attended the Youth Volunteer Awards, including the Provost of Aberdeenshire – Councillor Hamish Vernal and the Director of Education, Maria Walker.  Turriff Academy presented the ‘Family’ award to a young boy who has shown courage and bravery through trying to break the stigma of drug addiction. We felt very privileged to be presenting this to a truly inspirational boy who openly campaigns with recovery activists throughout Scotland and has provided personal support to a family member who was battling addiction.

All the pupils involved with the Pupil Participation Forum have to be commended for the preparation that went into organising this event. Not only did they promote the awards in local communities, they organised everything from award categories, selecting winners, to budgeting, creating the powerpoints and choosing food and entertainment on the night. Entertainment included Fraserburgh Choir with their rendition of a number of songs including Shake it off and Proud. A young people’s dance crew called Showcase the Street based in South Aberdeenshire performed a Michael Jackson mash-up after the food was served. Kemnay Ceilidh Band then took over in providng the music for the ceilidh. After a very heartfelt award ceremony, pupils, staff and community members enthusiastically participated in the ceilidh.

Finally, the Pupil Participation Forum would also like to thank Christine McLennan, Education Support Officer, for not only making this award ceremony possible, but for ensuring it was a huge success.  This was a fantastic way to celebrate all the young people in our communities who regularly make a difference and have an impact on the lives of others. All the young people nominated are winners in our eyes.


Rebekah Henry and Lauren Barrie