young volunteer

National Young Volunteer of the Year award triumph for Hollie

Castle Douglas’ Hollie Nelson has won a national Young Volunteer of the Year award.

The 25-year-old was recognised for her outstanding volunteer work supporting older people in the community.

Hollie’s nearly eight years of dedicated support to the local group, The Golden Day club, has raised much needed funds as well as offering IT support and raising awareness of the group’s contributions.

Volunteering runs in Hollie’s family. Her father-in-law co-founded the group, where she currently volunteers, in 1986 to support Castle Douglas’ older residents.

Hollie said: “I like working as part of the team. They’re nice to work for, the members are lovely as well. It makes you feel like you’re giving something back to your community.”

Ann Goddard, a member of The Golden Day Club, said: “I nominated Hollie because all the time that she’s been working here, she’s given tirelessly of her energy and her commitment. She can understand the challenges that the older folk sometimes have to put up with, so she’s a great asset to us.”

Hollie, who lives with Cerebral Palsy, also volunteers on the group’s management committee and makes valuable contributions at the monthly meetings.

Ann said: “Her condition makes it a challenge to get about so she has a mobility scooter and uses crutches to aid her walking any distance. Her enthusiasm, caring manner and general ‘can-do’ approach to life are a winning combination. She is always on the lookout for what she can do next and needs no asking. Nothing fazes her.”

Hollie’s contributions were noticed by Age Scotland, the national charity for older people, who awarded her with the Young Volunteer of the Year Award at their National Conference in Glasgow.

Honouring Hollie’s efforts, Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s Chief Executive said: “Hollie’s dedication to Castle Douglas’ older people is truly inspirational. We’re delighted to recognise the contribution she’s made over the last eight years.

“There are too many older people in Dumfries and Galloway who feel socially isolated, and this can have a devastating impact on their health and wellbeing. Groups such as The Golden Day Club and volunteers like Hollie make a real difference to people’s lives, helping them stay socially connected and active no matter their age.”

Age Scotland offers a free community group service connecting people who want to try new activities or groups in their area.

To find out more information about The Golden Day Club or to speak to a Community Connecting volunteer phone the free helpline 0800 12 44 222.

You can find out more about Hollie in her award video for Young Volunteer of the Year Award winner here:

Pictured: Hollie and awards host Anita Manning, of BBC Bargain Hunt.