Colin crowned Health and Wellbeing Volunteer of the Year

Colin crowned Health and Wellbeing Volunteer of the Year

Colin McIlvenny has been crowned Health and Wellbeing Volunteer of the Year in Volunteer Centre East Lothian’s Inspiring Volunteering Awards.

Colin is a regular, reliable and well-regarded volunteer for East Lothian Roots and Fruits.  Roots and Fruits aims to make fresh fruit and vegetables affordable and accessible.  The organisation provides a wide range of services, including weekly deliveries of fruit and veg boxes and special deliveries to the homes of people who are housebound and unable to access the food co-op.

Chair of Volunteer Centre East Lothian, Tom Shearer MBE, was a member of the Inspiring Volunteering judging panel and the host of the online awards ceremony.  Reflecting on the difference volunteers make, Tom said:

“It was so inspiring as a host to witness the outstanding contributions that volunteers have made to individuals, families and communities over the past very challenging year.”

Colin’s involvement with Roots and Fruits began several years ago, when he made up boxes of fruit and vegetables.  He then progressed to making deliveries and now commits every Monday morning to distributing healthy, locally-sourced and nutritious food in communities across East Lothian.  His delivery schedule includes drop-offs in Fenton Barns, Haddington, Longniddry, MacMerry, Prestonpans and Tranent.  Colin’s ready smile and warm personality mean that he is welcome wherever he goes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Colin’s work with Roots and Fruits became even more necessary.  His role extended to delivering food parcels to people in need.  In addition, he has delivered a range of items – including bikes, clothing, lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners – to assist families in hardship.

As well as making a positive difference to his community, Colin gains a great deal from volunteering.  He loves his work with Roots and Fruits and has a lot of fun in his role.  He likes to meet new people and enjoys engaging with the children at the nurseries and schools he delivers to.

Colin was nominated for his award by Alexander Jones, a Support Practitioner with ELCAP.  Alexander said:

“Colin really enjoys his work.  He looks forward to every Monday, he enjoys meeting new people, and you can see the delight on his face as he delivers the food parcels to people who need them.”

Colin’s volunteering is good for the citizens of East Lothian, but it also has health benefits for him.  Through being an active and valued member of his community, Colin has extended his networks and improved his confidence, fitness and self-esteem.

ELCAP Chief Executive, Paul White, said:

“We are all delighted for Colin.  Our vision is that everyone, no matter their individual support needs, is able to live to their full potential and be an active and valued member of our community. Colin is the embodiment of that vision and a role model for others who are inspired by his volunteering efforts.”