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Shining a light on The Centre's Volunteers

This week is #VolunteersWeek and to mark the occasion we want to shine a light on the volunteers which The Centre, Livingston has supported so far in 2023, Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities

The Centre, Livingston’s Volunteer Award was set up to highlight some of the amazing people in our local community who give up their time for good causes – from volunteering with a community group or charity, to doing voluntary work in hospitals.

Klayre and Helen with Katie Gallacher, Marketing Manager at The Centre, Livingston

In January, Klayre Hurnn, a Voluntary Befriender from Bathgate received the award. Klayre has been volunteering at West Lothian Youth Action Project (WLYAP) for the past 13 years. Helen Davis, Project Director at WLYAP nominated Klayre in recognition of her years of service to young people in the area.

Since 2009, Klayre has supported 10 young people – usually spending 12 months with each individual. The number of hours of support provided varies depending on the needs of the young person and the service offered is tailored to each individual - from meeting for a coffee and a chat, to helping them to further their interests by taking them to a football match. The role is never the same and this is something that many Volunteer Befrienders love about the support they provide.

Find out more about WLYAP or get in touch here:

Ian with Katie Gallacher, Marketing Manager at The Centre, Livingston

Next up is Ian Aitken, a volunteer for West Lothian Diabetes Scotland, from Livingston Village, who received his award in February. For the past 8 years, Ian has held many roles within the organisation including, Secretary, Walk Leader and Safeguarding Officer. May Millward, Chair of West Lothian Diabetes Scotland Group, nominated Ian for the award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the success of the group over the last few years.

Since 2015, Ian has given roughly 9 hours of his time each week to support the group – from passing on and incorporating key safeguarding information to the group in his role as Safeguarding Officer, to fundraising with his dog Copper. As Walk Leader, Ian is able to offer members the chance to enjoy walks in the local area, which not only provides physical exercise but also has an impact on their mental health and general well-being. Ian’s responsibilities as Secretary include coordinating monthly group meetings and setting up and manning Diabetes Awareness Tables in GP surgeries and other locations throughout West Lothian. He also undertook training to deliver Diabetes Awareness talks and is a trained Diabetes Risk Assessor.

Get in touch or find out more about West Lothian Diabetes Scotland Group here:

Amanda and Hazel with Katie Gallacher, Marketing Manager at The Centre, Livingston

In March, Amanda Brown from Armadale received the award for her work as Assistant Beaver Leader for the 28th West Lothian Scouts, over the last 7 years. In addition, Amanda has been on the Committee for Trojan Swimming Club, one of the longest running swimming clubs in West Lothian, as well as Treasurer for the Welsh Corgi League Scottish Section, an organisation which offers enthusiasts of the Welsh Corgi Pembroke breed the opportunity to socialise, go on organised walks and attend gatherings throughout the year. Amanda was nominated by her sister, Hazel Jenkinson, in recognition of the positive influence she makes in her role as Assistant Beaver Leader.

Since 2016, Amanda has given roughly 12 hours of her time every week in her role with the Scout group – helping to prepare for the weekly meetings, running activities for the members and planning both indoor and outdoor camps. One of Amanda’s aims is to help the Beavers reach their full potential and achieve the Chief Scout Bronze Award. This is the highest award a Beaver can earn after completing all of the core Challenge Awards, including the Teamwork Challenge Award and the Personal Challenge Award, as well as four additional activity badges such as the Disability Awareness Badge and the Digital Citizen Badge.

Interested? Find out more here:

Shital and Martin with Katie Gallacher, Marketing Manager at The Centre, Livingston

Shital Zaveri, from East Calder, who, for the last year, has volunteered at West Lothian Community Table Tennis Club at their Pop In and Play venue, won our Volunteer Award in April. Shital gives his free time at the weekends to coach children, as well as beginners, to play table tennis. Shital was nominated by Martin Rumsey, Club Chairman at West Lothian Community Table Tennis Club, in recognition of his dedication and enthusiasm for the club.

Since 2022, Shital has spent up to 8 hours a week at the Pop In and Play facility, providing access to the venue at weekends when many volunteers are unavailable. While he is there he offers one to one coaching to adults and children alike to help them become familiar with the game and to improve their table tennis skills.

For more information about West Lothian Community Table Tennis Club visit:

Helen and Eunice with Patrick Robbertze, Centre Director at The Centre Livingston

Most recently, in May, we have been able to recognise Helen Newton, one of the longest serving managers at The Centre, Livingston in Barclays Diamonds. Helen received a special Volunteer Award, which was presented by Centre Director, Patrick Robbertze, in recognition of her outstanding charity work and volunteering at a local foodbank.

Helen, who has worked at The Centre for 26 years, was nominated by her colleague, Eunice McMichael. who has worked with her for six years and watched her continue to provide support to many different good causes, whether it’s seeking donations for foodbanks, sponsoring people or even latterly, helping someone get to work safely each week! Helen is always giving back.

We’re always looking for your Volunteer Award nominations! If you know someone who spends their free time helping people in the community and you’d like to nominate them for the Volunteer Award, as well as a framed certificate and a £100 Gift Card to spend at The Centre, Livingston, please send an email to [email protected] along with the reasons for your nomination.