A kind Blantyre lad has won a fiercely contested volunteer award – despite being only seven years old.
Lewis Watt may be small in stature but his big heart saw off competition from veteran volunteers when he recently won Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire’s (VASLan) Outstanding Contribution to Volunteering Award.
Presented at VASLan’s highly competitive Third Sector Awards, the gong recognises those who go the extra mile to help others.
From local litter picks to setting up tables and chairs at community events, diminutive dynamo Lewis is regularly found assisting at public events as a member of established volunteer group, Blantyre Community Committee.
His selfless efforts have gained a near-celebrity status in his native town. And he’s even gained kudos from the local cat and dog community!
Lewis explained: “This summer at Blantyre gala day I was really worried about the cats and dogs coming along because it was so hot. I came up with the idea to put water and food out to make the event more pet friendly. I also helped put up the stage which means I got special access.”
Modest Lewis says the recent recognition has been pleasing and revealed helping others is in his DNA.
“Volunteering runs in the family,” explained the articulate youngster. “My Daddy (Barry) has been volunteering from a wee boy himself.
“He started at Terminal One (a community group led by the young people in the Blantyre area) and began DJing at youth events after being influenced by my grandma who was also a volunteer.
“He has continued to volunteer and is currently volunteering at Radio Lanarkshire which I love to get involved with too.”
Lewis also enjoys helping his Dad out at the radio station by checking the mics, sound levels and even helping him interview guests.
Gordon Bennie, Chief Executive of VASLan said: “What stood out for the judging panel is Lewis’s thoughtfulness and caring nature.
“His ongoing contribution to the fabric of community-life has been incredible for someone so young. It was that very fact that set him apart from some very tough and worthy competition on the night. I’d like to say a special word of thanks to Lewis, and indeed all of our winners and nominees for the exemplary work they carry out every day.”
Val de Souza, Chief Officer for South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership praised the valuable work VASLan, who are key partners, carry out in supporting and promoting volunteers.
She added: “Lewis’s award is also testament to the spirit that is alive and well in the heart of our communities. That’s something we are committed to building on through our Building and Celebrating Communities programme. This young man’s inspirational efforts bode well for a bright future.”
If you would like to get involved with volunteering in South Lanarkshire please call Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire on 01698 300390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
HIGH PRAISE FROM COMMUNITY GROUP
Blantyre Community Committee spokesperson told us:
“Lewis is a relatively new committee member, our youngest at old 7 years old. However, age is irrelevant when you see just how much he contributes in terms of effort, dedication and commitment.
“He has incredible motivation and enthusiasm which is infectious! He even has his own named hi vis vest and communication radio.
“He’s definitely a little, rising star who helps make all our public events run more smoothly and we’re all super proud.”
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