For a young person, volunteering opens up a lot of doors. Apart from being a lot of fun, you get to meet new people, you learn new skills, it looks great on your CV and you get to help your community along the way. ? We can get you involved…

If you’re not sure how to find a placement, we can help you! We’ll find out what you like to do and we’ll help you choose somewhere you’ll enjoy lending a hand. The possibilities are endless – from sports to woodwork to assisting with local wildlife walks. There is a volunteering opportunity out there for everyone! ?

When you volunteer, you can keep track of the hours that you give to your chosen organisation and gain recognition through the Saltire Awards. The Saltire Awards, which are supported by The Scottish Government, celebrate the volunteering achievements of young people in Scotland aged between 12-25 years. You even get a certificate signed by a Scottish Government minister!

There are four categories of awards available:

  • The Challenge – presented to you for being part of a one-off team event when you are at the beginning of your volunteering journey
  • The Approach – presented once you have achieved 10 and 25 hours volunteering
  • The Ascent – presented once you have achieved 50, 100, and 200 hours volunteering
  • The Summit Award – presented to people who have made an outstanding contribution to volunteering

If you’re not quite ready for a solo volunteering project, or if you’re not sure what volunteering actually is, we run workshops to prepare you. These courses take place over a period of 8 weeks and are designed to build up your confidence, hopefully enabling you to eventually volunteer by yourself. Our courses teach you about the role and responsibilities of a volunteer, whilst assisting in planning and delivering a volunteering team project.  

At the end of the course, you’ll receive a Saltire Challenge Award, plus, all the time you spend on the course will go towards your next Saltire Award. At the end of the project, if you wish to carry on and be a volunteer on your own, we’ll help find the right placement for you. ?

If you are well-organised and love to raise money for charity then check out ROAR! It is formed by a group of 6th year pupils at Kirkwall Grammar School who run public events to raise money for charity. Last year they organised a Quizzical event, a Festive Fiesta and a musical evening, raising over £1,350 for local charities. ? If this sounds like something you would be interested in, come and speak to us at KGS when we’re doing our drop-in sessions.

YPI – the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative – runs throughout Scotland and is part of the curriculum in both Stromness Academy and Kirkwall Grammar School. Teams throughout an entire year group research a social issue that is important to them and their local community, as well as a charity associated with that issue. The teams will then deliver a presentation worthy of winning a £3,000 grant for their chosen charity. ?

Intergenerational projects with local care homes see young people interacting with the residents by doing things such as playing games, providing live music or making crafts. It’s a great way for both volunteers and residents to have a good blether and learn about how life has changed over the years.

Every year the Orkney Youth Awards are held, in collaboration with Community and Learning Development at OIC. This is our way of celebrating the amazing work that all of you do as well as highlighting the level of commitment that you give to each organisation. It’s also our way to simply say a great big ‘thank you’.  This year we took it online with over 100 young people receiving awards. It was a great night (in!) and has had over 3,000 views! ?

Life is a bit different at the moment with the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of volunteering placements are still closed after lockdown, however they are slowly opening up, so please do get in touch if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.

Although we were all confined to our own homes, our volunteers still managed to do some fun things during lockdown.

The Care Home Ceilidh was organised with volunteers playing music that had been requested by the residents of Hamnavoe and St Rognvald’s Care Homes. It was then collated to create a wonderful concert that was enjoyed by lots of people. ?

As the residents of the care homes were left without any visitors for a long period of time, a pen pal project was set up. Letters were exchanged between volunteers and the folk living in the homes. Whilst providing childcare workshops over the summer, we took it a step further with the youngsters making picture booklets which were brilliant! They brought a ray of sunshine to some dull days. ?

If you think you would like to get involved, or just want some more information, please get in touch. Contact Brian or Kirsty on BrianKirstyVaorkney on Facebook or send us an email at We can’t wait to hear from you! ?

Youth Volunteering Form

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If you’re already volunteering go to to register for the Saltire Awards.
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