National Volunteer Award Profile - Janet Jamieson
The second winner from the fourth round of Bowls Scotland National Volunteer Awards is Janet Jamieson from Lanark Thistle Bowling Club.
Janet has been a member of Lanark Thistle BC for 25 years and began volunteering in her very first year at the club in 1997 by sitting on the ladies committee. Since then, she has helped oversee the amalgamation of the ladies and gents sections in 2002 and carried out various other roles from Club Secretary to President in 2022.
Speaking on her time at the club, Janet said: “I have been on the committee from when I joined the club in 1997 and have volunteered my services ever since. I was first asked onto the ladies committee and then took up the position of Secretary in 1998. From here I became Vice President in 2000 and then Ladies President in 2001, we then amalgamated with the gents in 2002 and I remained on the new committee taking up the position of Match Secretary and Club Secretary.
“More recently, I was asked to take on the role as Club President for 2022. I gave this much thought and decided that after losing our 2020 President and how much the club suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought I could give this position the time and commitment required and help to bring people back to bowling. We had lost so many of our older members in recent years.”
Despite the countless hours and years of hard work behind the scenes, Janet insists she does it all to ensure her beloved bowling club can remain a vibrant facility within the local community. One thing she really prides herself on is welcoming new people to the club, whether it be new members or visitors, Janet is always on hand to give people a warm welcome at Lanark Thistle BC and make sure they go away with a positive experience.
Outlining the rewards she gets from volunteering, Janet added: “The rewards I receive are being able to help in the running of the club, and the benefits to the club from members like myself volunteering their time are invaluable to keeping the club moving forward.
“Volunteering has made me more confident and helped me to connect with others, it has also helped to boost my social skills. Knowing that my presence means something to someone, even if it’s just something small and the feeling of being useful makes it all worthwhile.
“I have always been a people person and when we have any visitors or prospective new members coming into our club, I like to welcome them and let them know what we have to offer in our club. Potential new members do not want to feel unwelcome or out of place as this makes an impact on whether they choose to join or be involved in our club and if this is the right place for them.
“As our club was established in 1760, I feel a sense of pride in being part of the clubs history and it is important to keep that going and seeing new members taking on roles and keeping bowls alive. This will only happen if we encourage people old and young to join in this sport which is achievable at all levels.”
One member that has witnessed Janet’s hard work and dedication to the club is Emma Cavinue, who only recently joined Lanark Thistle BC in 2022. Previously a member of another local club, Emma has praised Janet for making both her and her friends feel welcome. Emma’s now back loving her bowls and enjoying the community spirit within the club, and she puts that all down to the time and effort that Janet commits to the club.
When asked about the difference that Janet makes at Lanark Thistle BC, Emma commented: “I nominated Janet as after playing bowls for many years and moving from another club I was absolutely blown away by the effort she made to make everyone welcome. As new members we were made to feel welcome and included and this was really important to us. We could see the other new members all being included and made a part of everything also and the feeling of community at the club is special.
“Bowls is a sport that many have preconceived ideas around and it can be hard to attract new members. People like Janet are the way to change this. Volunteers are the heart of bowls and especially at smaller clubs like our own. In tough economic times where people may feel alone or struggle a bowling club could be an absolute lifeline. This will only happen with volunteers who are willing to spend their time helping out.
“Janet has often put the club and its needs before her own and really goes the extra mile all the time. She turns up for everything and does huge amounts of organising in the background. Organising tournaments and social events and even crafting to raise funds she really gives it her all. Janet always has a smile and kind words for everyone and puts new members and visitors at ease. We are incredibly lucky to have her.”
To Janet’s surprise, she was recently presented with her National Volunteer Award during the clubs prizegiving presentation night. Congratulations to Janet on behalf of everyone at Bowls Scotland for her thoroughly deserved award! We would also like to thank Robert Forrest, Gents District Co-Ordinator for District 18, for taking time to present the award to Janet.
Applications for our next round of nominations close on Friday 3rd March 2023. For more information or to nominate someone, please visit: https://www.bowlsscotland.com/club-development/volunteering