Updated: Dec 22, 2019
Ainsley Martin, Airdrie-based volunteer, was named as the Mountaineering Scotland Volunteer of the Year Award 2019.
Ainsley was nominated for her outstanding contribution to Urban Uprising, a charity using climbing to improve the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of young people struggling to elevate themselves. She is a practising Mountain Leader and Rock Climbing Instructor and lifelong volunteer. She also works for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and volunteers as a Scout Leader for Bishopton Scouts, helping more young people facing disadvantage to experience climbing and the outdoors.
The awards were launched by Mountaineering Scotland in 2016, to recognise and celebrate exceptional contributions to mountaineering and climbing in Scotland through personal achievement and volunteering.
Stuart Younie, CEO Mountaineering Scotland said, “Ainsley is just the sort of person we envisaged when the Mountaineering Scotland Awards were introduced and thoroughly deserves this recognition: her work is making a real difference to the lives of the young people she is mentoring and we are delighted that her efforts and those of the wider team at Urban Uprising are encouraging more young people take part in climbing.”
Ainsley was thrilled to receive the award, saying, “Volunteering with Urban Uprising has been enormously enjoyable. I support climbing sessions, get to know some pretty cool groups of kids, play games, offer encouragement and the occasional power spot to help them reach the first hold! We build on their climbing, but also their confidence, reflect on their changing attitudes to returning to a problem and try bring the group to a place where they also support and encourage each other.”
Ainsley has been volunteering consistently for Urban Uprising for four years now, working with over 100 young people through their unique climbing programme, as well as regularly training her fellow volunteers, running coaching sessions, giving presentations, creating case studies, recruiting groups and fundraising. Earlier this year, she took part in the Rough Runner Scotland 2019, helping to raise over £2,000 for Urban Uprising.
Stu Green, Founder of Urban Uprising said, “I believe Ainsley embodies the very best in volunteering culture and has dedicated her life so far towards this. She’s a pivotal member of our volunteer team and donates a significant amount of her time to fundraising and promoting youth involvement in climbing. I think she is an incredibly inspirational person. One who doesn’t question giving up almost all of her spare time to inspire, teach and benefit others in a variety of capacities. The climbing and outdoors community is a significantly richer place for her presence.”
The winners were recognised at Mountaineering Scotland Annual Members Meeting at Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore and received beautiful glass sculptures created by acclaimed artist Emma Butler Cole Aitken.
If you would like to find out about volunteering with Urban Uprising, please get in touch.