HNC Working With Communities student, Shawn Fernandez, has been named Volunteer of the Year at the recent SCVO Awards.
28yr old Shawn from Springburn has worked tirelessly for his community over the last few years since 2017, combining this with his part-time study.
As a volunteer with Central and West Integration Network which works with individuals to support asylum seekers and refugees, migrant workers and black and minority ethnic residents in Glasgow, Shawn became aware of the many issues which confront elderly residents including isolation, loneliness and their vulnerability to fraudulent scams. He set about tackling this by organising cyber-crime prevention awareness workshops which not only informed about fraudulent scams but also brought together groups of excluded and vulnerable elderly people in a social setting, helping them to build relationships.
Other local charities benefitted from his input, including his work to secure an allotment and create a community garden encouraging refugees to spend time in nature to support their health, wellbeing and social inclusion.
Shawn also works as a volunteer within Springburn Community Hub as part of his work placement.
He was delighted to receive the SCVO Award and is pictured here with his very proud mum.
A police officer in Malaysia before arriving in Scotland in 2017, Shawn is acutely aware of the role of community development in engaging residents to help civic participation and support crime prevention. The HNC Working With Communities has been of huge benefit to him and he is quick to express his thanks to the College and to his tutors. He says;
“Special thanks to my tutors who have helped me to develop my knowledge on the importance of collective approaches which has formed the foundation for my volunteering journey. Thanks go to Glasgow Kelvin and the dedicated staff for providing learning opportunities to the new Scots and supporting their integration in the community.”
Glasgow Kelvin College Principal, Derek Smeall, said;
“We are absolutely delighted at the recognition of this remarkable young man’s dedication and hard work. Shawn is a worthy recipient of the award and we’re very proud to play a part in his exciting journey. Congratulations to him and well done to the staff who have supported him in his learning.”