Dec 25 2009 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Friday
A STUDENT who took part in environmental projects and also helped old folk with their gardens has won a runner-up prize of £200 in Buchanan’s of Scotland Young People of the Year – YOPEY.
Ramsey Deans (19), from Fintry, was nominated by British Trust for Conservation Volunteers Scotland (BTCV).
During his gap year before university, Ramsey volunteered with BTCV Scotland and found himself digging ponds and doing other valuable tasks.
Two BTCV staff Denise Millan and Jo Ridley put Ramsey forward for YOPEY for “his amazing contribution to volunteering and the support and dedication he gave to staff, volunteers and the communities he worked with”.
Among the work that he did was building dams in a raised bog at Lowmoss, Bishopbriggs, to help it retain water.
He also went into homes in the Penilee area of Glasgow to help their elderly and disabled residents maintain their gardens.
“Prior to the project, he didn't realise how much help older people needed to maintain their gardens and was humbled at how thankful they were with the group’s help,” said Denise.
But the residents were delighted with what he and the other group members did.
“These are people who for many years had proudly cared for their gardens but now were unable to do so,” said Ramsey. “It was very rewarding and worthwhile.”
Denise said that despite his age Ramsey brought a very mature approach to volunteering and developed into a strong, reliable team member who welcomed new volunteers enthusiastically and got on extremely well with the group and staff.
“He was positive, hard-working, reliable and enthusiastic,” said Jo. “He got stuck into whatever he was asked to do and was not afraid to get his hands dirty.”
This was Ramsey’s first attempt at volunteering. He worked for six hours a day, four days a week, for three months, receiving £55 a week for his efforts through an organisation called Project Scotland.
He said: “You often hear of the bad young people so it was good to work with others who are doing positive work to help the world around them.”
Ramsey’s time with BTCV has inspired him to continue doing environmental work. And he plans to continue doing more volunteering when at university, studies permitting.
Ramsey is giving half his £200 prize to BTCV.