Sandra Butchart is a winner of a Saltire Summit Award at 2018’s Inspire Awards. Sandra is receiving this recognition for her voluntary work as a Dance Leader, Arts and Crafts Helper and her assistance with other Link Up community engagement events.

This volunteer is recognised for going above and beyond by completely coming out of her shell and growing as a young person. Sandra was once a service user to the Link Up groups and events she now volunteers at, and has transitioned into her role naturally, taking on more responsibilities as she matures.  Furthermore, she has battled anxieties; being a quiet member of the group previously but now a confident, positive, bubbly person to be around, who has a strong voice in group discussions and helps lead the UneekLinx dance group. Sandra has even used her personal journey to assist her in her role and improve other’s experiences. For instance, having used the groups herself, she has a good perspective on how others may be feeling and is always available to provide support to people if needed.  She demonstrates this in particular with the dance group, where she is keen to ensure that everyone within the group has a voice and is able to speak up when they need to.

Sandra’s voluntary work is also reward worthy in terms of the commitment involved.  Firstly, she has volunteered a total of around 150 hours despite having only volunteered for 18 months and when Link Up need volunteers, she is also always keen and available to take part in new projects.  Her hard work with UneekLinx is particularly valued; Sandra takes a lead in choreographing dances for the group, supports younger participants and promotes the group. This is important to LinkUp as they allow the dance group to run themselves by providing members simply with the space.

Finally, Sandra has had a special impact on the organisation and surrounding community. Within the dance group she is skilled in supporting young people to come up with creative ideas and encourage them to have the confidence to express themselves. She also helped to arrange for the group to attend the Maximum Dance competition at the Caird Hall in February this year. The young people attending the dance group would never normally be able to afford to enter competitions, so it was really beneficial for them to be involved in and experience the exciting event. Sandra has also recently become a Youth Ambassador through Volunteer Dundee where she has attended meetings and visited other youth groups in the city. Congratulations on receiving a Saltire Summit Award Sandra!

Rachel – Media Volunteer at Volunteer Dundee