The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is calling for charities and individuals across the country to apply for its annual charity awards.

Now in its 15th year, the Scottish Charity Awards highlight the best, most innovative and effective charity organisations and individuals from the past year, and celebrate those who make a difference in our communities.

Over the last 12 months the voluntary sector has never been more needed and has shown strength and resilience in supporting our communities against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The charity awards are designed to celebrate the best of the voluntary sector, and applications are now being accepted for 2021. The award categories are Employee of the Year, Trustee of the Year, Community Action, Campaign of the Year, Charity of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Digital Citizens, Pioneering Project and Climate Conscious; with the winners to be decided by a panel of judges and announced on Friday 1 October 2021.

In 2020 the awards ceremony was hosted online for the first time, attracting thousands of bookings from people looking to join the celebrations and recognise the amazing work of the voluntary sector in Scotland. Plans are still being finalised for the set-up this year and SCVO is working hard with the EICC to deliver another night to remember!

All finalists will also be entered into the running for the People’s Choice Award, giving members of the public a chance to vote for their favourite finalist to win. SCVO received an overwhelming response last year, with hundreds of applications and over 31,000 votes cast in the People’s Choice Award, and event organisers hope to encourage even more applications this year.

Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of SCVO, said: “The Scottish Charity Awards showcase some of the most inspiring organisations and individuals in the country. The past year has been challenging for everyone, but we have seen so many voluntary organisations providing incredible support to people and communities across the country. They have had to adapt and deliver new services, all while coping with limited resources and increased demand. We want the Awards to be an opportunity for this vital work to be both recognised and celebrated.

“Last year we received hundreds of applications covering projects and work that had taken place up until March 2020 – so this year we’re hoping to see a great deal more due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the sector’s unbelievable response. We know that there are huge numbers of charitable organisations who are carrying out amazing work every day in our communities and I would urge them to take the time to apply. Not only can winning promote an organisation’s cause and attract new funding streams, it can also give these organisations and the people who work and volunteer for them the recognition they deserve.”

Charities can apply until 5pm on Friday 14 May 2021.