Volunteer Recognition and Awards

The annual EA Youth Service Volunteer Awards 2020, Worth Their Weight in Gold, will pay homage to the work and dedication of adult volunteers in youth work settings.
Volunteers themselves often underplay the contribution they make and the skills, experiences, talents and knowledge that they bring to the volunteering role.

The Worth Their Weight in Gold Volunteer Awards will therefore be an opportunity to recognise the tremendous work of adult volunteers and formally award those individuals who have excelled in their volunteering roles across a range of initiatives.

This award is for the individual volunteer who has contributed to the holistic development of children and young people within youth services over a significant period of time.

This award is for the individual volunteer who has driven change and devised programmes meeting the emerging needs of children and young people.

The Power of One:
This award is for the individual volunteer who continuously ensures they are available and present to meet the needs of children and young people within their community.

This award is for the individual volunteer who continuously drives their own development to ensure they can meet the needs of children and young people.

This award is for the individual volunteer who constantly places themselves in the position of being an advocate for vulnerable children and young people.

This award is for the team of volunteers who have provided commitment and dedication to meeting the needs of children and young people during Covid-19.

Thank you for taking the time to nominate an individual or team for these very special volunteer awards. Before you get started on the nomination form, please read the following information to ensure that you have all of the necessary details to complete the form.


Certificates will be printed as per the details supplied on the nomination form so please ensure that you double check the spelling of the individual’s name / team name / organisation, address, email addresses and other information before submission. 


To encourage nominations EA has provided eligibility criteria against each award, some helpful tips for completing the nomination form and the opportunity to provide photographic, video and written support evidence for the nomination.


All nominators must have permission from the individual or team they are nominating to disclose their personal information as part of their entry.  For privacy purposes, the nominee(s) should be aware that as a result of this nomination, their image and story may be used publicly by EA to promote and celebrate the work of volunteers.  Please note that the individual or team which you are nominating will be sent a copy of the full nomination form.


To be considered for an award category nominees must:

  • Have given their time willingly to youth work without financial gain;
  • Have volunteered within the last 12 months for an EA registered group/s either voluntary or statutory;
  • Be aged 18 years or over.


Nominations will only be accepted by completing an official EA nomination, with all sections completed fully. Nominees cannot self-nominate and can only be nominated for one category. An assessment panel of young people will assess all nominations and select the six finalists.

Capture the individual/team's story

Provide the panel with a clear sense of the impact that the individual/team makes to the lives of young people, the unit and their community. Provide as much detail as you can, bearing in mind that the only the information you provide is what can be assessed. Ensure that you include dates of when the individual/group began their volunteering journey and when they completed the role and note if they are currently continuing to volunteer.


Talk to the volunteer/team and others who know them and have knowledge of their youth work

To support you in providing a strong application in the first instance it is recommended that you have a conversation with both the nominee(s) and those who know them. These conversations may support the application in respect of their skills, talents, areas of youth work that may add value to the nomination. Ensure that you highlight the special personal qualities, attributes and the skills they bring to the volunteer role.


The small things are important!

When considering an individual/team, be mindful of all the small things they do, including those things above and beyond their role. It may be that they are always dependable, they always go the extra mile, are always adaptable and willing to undertake a range of duties, are willing to learn and/or always thinking about others and how they can improve the experiences they provide to children and young people. Provide examples of how they meet the criteria for the chosen award.


Capture any additional information which will set the individual/team apart from others in the award process.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual celebration of volunteer awards will be very different this year but just as exciting and rewarding. Awards will be presented in innovative ways. EA will use a range of EA social media platforms to promote volunteering and to celebrate the achievements of winners of the awards but also celebrate the work of all our youth work volunteers across NI.