Our final nominee shortlisted for the Young Volunteer of the Year Award is lead volunteer gymnast coach Ben Gardiner.

Ben is nominated for his voluntary role at SALTO gymnastics club where he is an incredibly important part of the lives of the children he works with. He has shown exceptional talent as a gymnastic coach; demonstrating an ability to coach large groups of children, hold their attention and get the best out of them – often doing this six times a week.

Ben is a worthy finalist based on the unique leadership he demonstrates in his role. He is well-known for being a supportive mentor and this has been commented upon by many of the young gymnasts. One young gymnast said – “At my first competition when I was 5 years old I was very nervous as I couldn’t remember my floor routine. Ben helped me stay calm and reassured me that I would be fine. I enjoyed the competition with Ben’s support.” As a result, his patient, kind attitude has allowed many young people to flourish.

This Young Volunteer of the Year finalist also makes a difference to SALTO by being a positive role model to the gymnasts attending the group. He demonstrates that they are valued and cared for by being well prepared for his classes and putting energy into every interaction with young people. As well as being dedicated to the club, Ben also works incredibly hard at school, showing the children the importance of studying.

Ben is a huge asset to the communities of Fintry, Douglas and Whitfield and we wish him the best of luck at the 2019 Youth Volunteering Awards!