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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Volunteer who really goes the extra mile named ChildLine volunteer of the year

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Nick Brain has driven the 100 mile round trip from Arbroath to Aberdeen for over two years so he can volunteer

A schoolteacher who travels a 100 mile round trip in his spare time to volunteer for ChildLine has been named the helpline’s volunteer of the year.

Nick Brain, 30, has been driving from Arbroath to Aberdeen every Tuesday night for the past two and a half years so he can fill the late-shift at the ChildLine call centre in the city.

Nick, who teaches at Arbroath Academy, was named volunteer of the year at the NSPCC – the charity which operates ChildLine – Childhood Champion Awards ceremony in London.

Speaking after receiving his award, he said: “I’m just really chuffed.

Gallowhill Pupils with Dame Esther Rantzen
Gallowhill Pupils with Dame Esther Rantzen

“I’m very glad to be here and it’s been great to meet all of the other volunteers who have been nominated.

“It has been a wonderful experience.”

The other Scottish winner on the night was Gallowhill Primary in Renfrewshire which won school of the year for its determination to tackle cyberbully by creating a comic book.

The comic Oor Bullie was developed by the talented team of primary six and seven pupils after the NSPCC visited the school to talk to pupils about ChildLine and the work it does with children who have been affected by cyberbullying.

Teacher Melissa Hollywood who runs the project with her colleague Cheryl Gray at Gallowhill Primary, said: “It’s fantastic for the school to win this amazing award.

“We are delighted that Childline wanted to recognise the contribution the school has made with their fundraising and hard work.”

The winners were presented with their awards by Royal patron of ChildLine and NSPCC president, HRH the Countess of Wessex alongside ChildLine founder Dame Esther Rantzen and NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless.

Dame Esther said: “One of the most enjoyable tasks I have ever been asked to undertake was to read the nominations for our volunteer champions. I was hugely impressed and inspired by all of them. ChildLine and the NSPCC would not exist without them.

“The children they have helped would love to be able to thank them personally. I am delighted to have the opportunity to express my deep gratitude, on their behalf.”

Peter Wanless added: “Our Childhood Champion Awards are our chance to say thank you to some of our most dedicated volunteers.

“Their efforts really are outstanding and we would not be organisation we are today without them. A huge well done to all those who were nominated and won today and a big thanks to all of our volunteers.”