The Youth Engagement Team at Keith Grammar School and tsiMORAY held their first-ever Saltire Awards drop-in for students. With laptops at the ready, students could sign up to the Awards and also tell us about their volunteering.
This is where we met Kirsty Low and Cassie Findlay – two thirds of the musical group, The Country Quines.
‘So, have you done any volunteering recently?’ we asked. The girls sat and had a think. 'Well, we’ve played for people in the old age home near us...yeah we’ve done this a few times…’
The girls thought some more. ‘Oh yeah, we played outside Tesco this Christmas to raise funds for a local charity…’
Were you asked to do this? ‘No’, said the girls, ‘…we thought it was something we could do…so we went to Tesco…’
When they took the time to think, the girls started to uncover more of the concerts, gigs and work they had been doing in the community. They hadn’t thought too much about it before, and even though it was hitting over 200 volunteer hours, they weren't aware of how remarkable their contribution has been and continues to be.
It turns out that, for over 3 years, they have been playing their fiddles for good causes and unbeknownst to them, showing the power of youth volunteering.
What makes their story so remarkable is that they started this at age 12. At this age, it can be very difficult to find a volunteering opportunity. So Kirsty and Cassie simply made their own. By using their talent and desire to make a difference, they have given joy to countless older people, raised serious cash for deserving groups, and are a testament to how young people strengthen our communities.
The girls knew of the Saltire Awards, but didn’t see what they were doing as ‘volunteering’. ‘I saw other people get the Awards but I didn’t think that it was something for me’, said Kirsty.
When asked for a picture, the girls immediately run upstairs to get their fiddles. Their music and volunteering are part of who they are and what they do. They are a music group, the Country Quines; they are high school students, young volunteers, young musicians giving back, and in their volunteering we can see the whole picture.
If you know or are a young person interested in volunteering in Moray, or would like to have your current volunteering recognised officially, check out https://saltireawards.org.uk/