VICTIM Support Scottish Borders has become the first of the organisation's Scottish regional offices to achieve a prestigious volunteering award.

The Volunteer Friendly accreditation recognises the local branch's support for its huge team of volunteers.

Volunteer Friendly is a national scheme delivered locally by Volunteer Centre Borders (VCB).

Assessors scrutinised the charity’s policies and procedures in five strands covering things like training, motivation, equality and communication.

VCB Executive Officer, Gordon Brown, said: “Volunteers are an integral part of Victim Support Scottish Borders and this is obvious from their workplans and how they are supported in their volunteering roles.

“At a time when volunteers are needed more than ever before to help support delivery of many of the services which make our communities so healthy and vibrant, it is great Victim Support Scottish Borders are one of many organisations putting their volunteers at the forefront of their strategic planning.

“The fact that the VS Scottish Borders are the first of Victim Support Scotland’s regional offices to achieve this award is real credit to all the staff and volunteers in the area.”

Victim Support Scottish Borders, based in Galashiels, provides support and advice for both victims and witnesses of crime.

The group also campaigns for changes in the criminal justice system.

And it relies heavily on loyal volunteers.

Victim Support Scottish Borders’ manager Karen Lawson told us: "We are delighted our commitment to supporting and developing our volunteers has been recognised by the Volunteer Friendly Award.

“Our vital work could not be done without our dedicated team of volunteers and we will continue to ensure our policies and procedures reflect our appreciation for all their efforts.”

Volunteer Centre Borders is the first point of contact for volunteering advice, information and support in the Scottish Borders.

They work with a range of partners to ensure volunteering is recognised as being integral to the area's health and prosperity.