Big-hearted South Ayrshire volunteers take bow at special awards ceremony

Volunteers from all over South Ayrshire have been hailed for their commitment to helping others at a special awards ceremony.

A total of 277 volunteers from 23 community organizations and charities took their bow at the Gaiety Theater in Ayr.

All were nominated for this year’s South Ayrshire Volunteer Awards in an evening compered by panto stars Jerry Taylor and Fraser Boyle.

Presenting the awards was Professor Fiona McQueen, former chief nursing officer for Scotland, and leader of South Ayrshire Council, Cllr Peter Henderson.

Bronze awards were presented to volunteers for one to five years of selfless service, silver awards for five to 10 years and gold awards for 10 to 15 years.

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Mossblown community champion Mary Brown with Professor Fiona McQueen and Councilor Peter Henderson
Mossblown community champion Mary Brown with Professor Fiona McQueen and Councilor Peter Henderson

Lifetime awards were made to volunteers who have dedicated themselves to local good causes for 15 years and over.

Young people aged 12 to 25 who have clocked up more than 200 hours of volunteering also picked up Saltire Awards on the night.

Exclusively this year, two ‘special recognition’ awards were made to two exceptional Scout leaders – Jane Calderwood who has volunteered for 51 years and Bob McIntyre who has been a volunteer for an incredible 57 years.

Special community champion awards were also made to four people who were nominated by local people for their tireless work in their communities – Mary Brown from Mossblown; Mandy Hickman-Ralph from Tarbolton; Patricia Watts from Girvan; and Robert Green from Lochside.

Mr Green sadly passed away before the ceremony but his daughters were there to accept the award in memory of their father.

The local heroes who received awards give up their time to make a difference to the following organisations: The 48th Ayrshire Scout Group; Ayrshire Cancer Support; Ayrshire Council on Alcohol; Broken Chains; Clean Up Treeton Woods Campaign; Community Gift Exchange; Craigie Community Association; Craigie Intergenerational Gardening Group; Kirkmichael Kids and Community Group; Kirkmichael Village Renaissance; Kyle & Carrick District Scouts; Lochside Bingo Volunteers; Lochside Cafe Volunteers; Lochside Neighborhood Group; No-one Dies Alone Ayrshire; PDSA; Police Scotland; Prestwick Howie Bowling Club; Royal Highland Education Trust Ayrshire & Arran; Scottish SPCA; South Ayrshire Council CLD – Adult Literacies: Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA) and Working for Wallacetown Group.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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