A unique sports and creative activities programme for young people in Aberdeen has scooped an award for its positive and supportive approach to volunteering.
The Denis Law Legacy Trust 'Streetsport’ programme, which is delivered in partnership with the Robert Gordon University (RGU), has been awarded ACVO’s prestigious ‘Volunteer Friendly Award.’
The initiative, which actively reduces instances of youth crime and anti-social behaviour, is the first of its kind in Scotland to receive the award for excellence in Volunteer Management Practice.
The project deploys mobile activity arenas into locations throughout Aberdeen, offering free doorstep sports and other events directly to young people within their own communities.
Mark Williams, Streetsport Development Officer, said: “We are delighted to receive the Volunteer Friendly Award from ACVO which recognises the hard work and commitment of all of our volunteers and the difference they make on a daily basis to many young people in Aberdeen.”
The Streetsport programme which is based at RGU Sport in Garthdee is close to entering its tenth year of operation. RGU Sport’s Director of Sport, Filippo Antoniazzi, is also a co-founder of the initiative.
He said: “The team of volunteers that have worked with the Streetsport programme over the years have played a huge part in the impact and success of the programme across Aberdeen. This award is well deserved and I know the team are keen to build further on their success.”
Streetsport has made a significant impact across the city over the years with thousands of young people participating in a wide range of free activities and is currently working in nine different areas of the city on a nightly basis.
The Denis Law Legacy Trust is the first sports related charity to receive the award which highlights the charity’s commitment towards their volunteers, who are supported and incentivised by a number of development pathways and certifications.
Denis Law Legacy Trust Trustee Steve McKnight, said: “The ACVO award is a tremendous achievement and we are delighted to accept it on behalf of all of our volunteers who have demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment throughout.”
“They provide inspiration to many young people and their impact is immeasurable. The Denis Law Legacy Trust aims to assist young people from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve their goals in life and promotes aspiration by helping them to appreciate that anything is possible if you apply yourself and have the right attitude.”
Jeanna Gordon a current volunteer with Streetsport, said: “Volunteering has allowed me to increase my confidence and experience in coaching. It has also enabled me to work with many young people from diverse backgrounds and I get a real sense of reward knowing that I am contributing back into the communities of Aberdeen.”
“Through volunteering with Streetsport I have been able to take participate in some great CPD opportunities that would not have otherwise been available to me; a highlight being the chance to work with Judy Murray on her tennis programmes.”
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Councillor George Adam, recently presented members of the project team and representatives of the volunteers with a special plaque and certificate on behalf of ACVO to mark their achievement.
Councillor Adam said: “I was very pleased to present a Volunteer Friendly Award to Streetsport. This is a great organisation doing fantastic work across the city with many volunteers at the heart of what they do.
“They are making a real impact and difference to many young people who they encourage to take part in sport.”
ACVO supports groups to attain the award, which is a quality standard, based on investing in volunteers and designed to support, recognise and reward groups who are good at working with volunteers.
Mike Melvin, Volunteer Friendly Assessor at ACVO, added: “The Denis Law Legacy Trust Streetsport programme makes an essential contribution in communities across Aberdeen. It is a great accomplishment achieving the Volunteer Friendly Award and is testament to the superb work and dedication of all staff and volunteers.”
Streetsport works closely with Police Scotland and Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership and regularly collaborates with a network of other local agencies in its annual calendar of activities across the north-east including Absafe, Sport Aberdeen and the Aberdeen Youth Games amongst others.
Rebecca Lewis and Ross AndersonRGU Communications Office | Aberdeen