Volunteer Joe in the running to be a local hero

Pictured are, from left, Amy Hamilton, Joe Devlin and David Elder.
Pictured are, from left, Amy Hamilton, Joe Devlin and David Elder.

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.

He was nominated for one of the 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 said: “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 this 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 explained: “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, Joe was announced as a finalist – one of three contenders for the Local Hero Award.

The lunchtime awards ceremony take place on Wednesday, February 14, at Ednam House Hotel, Kelso.