A VOLUNTEERING award has been presented for the very first time to some of those who give their time in support of NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
Pat Wightman and Aidan Crocket were the very first local NHS volunteers to be presented with the SQA Award in Volunteering Skills through a pilot training programme.
Margaret McGroggan is Volunteer Co-ordinator for NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and she said: “I’m really pleased to see our first two volunteers being presented with their SQA Award in Volunteering Skills.
“The whole idea behind this award was about its ability to help build confidence among the volunteers, and seeing them recognised for what they’re already putting into practice.
“We we were really pleased that we could provide the opportunity for Pat and Aidan to achieve this work-based qualification, and we believe it demonstrates the quality and commitment of the volunteers that we’re lucky enough to have supporting us in NHS Dumfries and Galloway.”
Local training consultant Duncan Harkness was brought on board by the NHS’ Organisational Development and Learning Facilitator Alison McConnachie to help Pat and Aidan work towards their award.
Duncan’s association with NHS Dumfries and Galloway dates back about 18 years.
He said: “I started off initially doing Modern Apprentice programmes, and then I got the opportunity through Margaret to look at the SQA Volunteering Award.
“This is a new award which the SQA brought out over the last couple of years, and I figured with all the voluntary work taking place it was a great opportunity to try it out and see how it went along.”
Pat and Aidan’s work towards achieving the SQA involved workbooks, and conversations with Duncan.
And Duncan said: “A large part of the process is reflecting at the end of the process, asking ‘What have I learned from this?’”
Aiden says he gained a lot from pursuing the award.
He said: “It’s allowed me to build my confidence. I tended to stay in the corner at school, but I’ve become involved with the NHS and Blood Bikes and have progressed from there.
“I’ve wanted to join the emergency services, so this was a starting point for me because I was just 16 when I first started to get involved. So this has really built my confidence towards working in the emergency services.”
Now eyeing a possible future in Scottish Fire and Rescue, Aidan said: “Hopefully all the confidence and all the skills I’ve learned during this will help me get into that.”
Meanwhile, Pat said: “It’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to do volunteering, and I’ve always been interested in it, but doing the training just gives you a boost and more confidence about what you’re doing.
“It shows you the opportunities of what you can do around volunteering, and you’re more aware of how important volunteering is.
“But I love the atmosphere at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, and I love volunteering there.”
Anyone with an interest in volunteering with NHS Dumfries and Galloway is invited to contact Margaret McGroggan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or telephoning 01387 246246 ext 34603