An 18-year-old autistic man from Helensburgh is celebrating after scooping the National Autistic Society’s prestigious UK-wide Volunteer of the Year 2018 award. 

Calum Deverill was awarded the title in recognition of his outstanding fundraising efforts which have raised more than £2,000 to support the charity’s work in Scotland.

This included single-handily organising bucket collections at the Empire Cinema in Clydebank and Helensburgh town centre, whilst studying full-time at Lomond School. 

Calum also delivered an autism awareness talk to a group of local nursery children and helped the National Autistic Society Scotland encourage MSPs to make Scotland a more autism-friendly nation. 

Calum decided to volunteer with the charity to help other autistic people in a similar situation to himself, and as a thank you for the help and support it provided. On 7 June he shared his story with a group of MSPs from the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Volunteering.

The award, which recognises a volunteer’s dedication and commitment, came as the National Autistic Society Scotland celebrated Volunteers’ Week 2018, from 1-7 June. This year’s theme was ‘volunteering for all’ and was an opportunity for the charity to say thank you to its volunteers for the important contribution they make to support and deliver its vital work in Scotland.

Calum, who was diagnosed when he was 10-years-old said: “Volunteering with the National Autistic Society Scotland has allowed me to demonstrate what can be achieved by autistic people, provided the correct support is in place.

“I have developed many skills through volunteering and my confidence has increased - these are skills which I know will be transferable to the workplace when I graduate from university. 

“I really enjoy volunteering with the National Autistic Society Scotland and I think my life is richer and more meaningful as a result.”

Fiona McGrevey, Branches and Volunteering Development Manager at the National Autistic Society Scotland, said: “Calum is an inspiration and has overcome a number of challenges to help autistic people living in Scotland.  

“I’m thoroughly impressed by his commitment and determination to help raise awareness and increase understanding of autism, which affects around 58,000 people in Scotland.

“Like all of our volunteers, he is an asset to our charity and I’m so pleased that we have been able to formally recognise his efforts with our Volunteer of the Year Award.”

To find out about volunteering opportunities with the National Autistic Society Scotland, please visit www.autism.org.uk/volunteer