Borders College

‘Inspirational’ Joe up for top volunteer award

Newtown St Boswells man Joe Devlin, a former student of Borders College and now Student Ambassador/Volunteer Administration Assistant for Borders College Students’ Association (BCSA), has reached the finals of the Volunteer Centre Borders Awards 2018.

Photo of Amy Hamilton, Joe Devlin and David Elder

Joe is pictured (centre) with Amy Hamilton and David Elder.

Joe was nominated for one of the coveted Volunteer Centre Borders Awards by fellow student and Borders College Regional Board of Management Student Representative David Elder, who was runner-up for the Thinking Differently Award in 2016 for his own work as Chairman of Peebles Christmas Lights Association.

David first made Joe’s acquaintance through Momentum Skills, from whom they both receive support for a different brain condition.  Both went on to attend the College’s Skills for Acquired Brain Injury course in 2016.  David says:

“Joe was a real help to me coming back to college to study full time, giving me a lot of good advice and support.”

Now a student on the College’s level 5 NC Business Administration course, David nominated Joe in recognition of his involvement in not only the BCSA, but also local charities Heads Together and Momentum Skills, as well as the time he devotes to helping others.  After sustaining a serious head injury a number of years ago, Joe’s experiences of living with a brain injury have enabled him to offer peer support to others through Momentum Skills, as well as helping to organise events and outings for Heads Together service users.

David explains:

“After originally nominating Joe for the Hidden Asset Award, with the help of Amy Hamilton (BCSA Support Officer) and Katy at Momentum Skills, I received a phone call from Volunteer Centre Borders to say they were so blown away by Joe’s volunteering contributions they wanted to change his nomination category to the Local Hero Award.”

Following a judging panel in January, Joe was announced as a finalist, making him one of three contenders for the prestigious Local Hero award.

Joe, described by his nominees as ‘an inspirational man’, says of his nomination:

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the nomination!  That friends, colleagues and support workers thought so highly of me.  It never occurred to me that anything I do is nothing that anyone else would, as it’s enjoyable and keeps me going.  I still can’t take it in, but have to say I feel very honoured to have been put forward for this.”

The lunch-time awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 14th February at the Ednam House Hotel in Kelso, where winners will be announced across all 8 categories.  Joe will be accompanied at the awards by David, Amy, and good friend Linda.

Published: Thu 1st Feb, 2018