Scottish charity workers recognised in New Years Honours List

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Scottish charity workers and volunteers feature heavily in this year’s New Year Honours List.

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8th January 2016 by Paul Cardwell 1 Comment

Scottish charity workers and volunteers feature heavily in this year’s New Year Honours List.

North of the border there were 103 recipients of awards, many of whom are well known in the sector.

Chair of the Scotland Malawi Partnership board, Reverend Professor Kenneth Ross, received an OBE for services to the community in Malawi and to Scottish-Malawi relations.

Scottish charity workers recognised in New Years Honours ListReverend Professor Kenneth Ross

It has been a constantly inspiring experience for me to be part of the social movement in Scotland which has driven the partnership with Malawi

Prof Ross first chaired the partnership’s board from 2004 to 2006, returning in 2010 and continuing to the present day.

A former teacher in the University of Malawi from 1988 to 1998, Ross was general secretary for World Mission at the Church of Scotland.

Of his award, he told TFN it was a tribute to thousands of Malawians and Scots who have forged the partnership and pioneered a fresh approach to international development.

He added: “It has been a constantly inspiring experience for me to be part of the social movement in Scotland which has driven the partnership with Malawi to the stage it has now reached.

“The UN’s Global Goals have highlighted the importance of partnership in the battle to defeat poverty. Scotland and Malawi are well-placed to demonstrate a working model.

"At the same time, I am very far from complacent since I know how much remains to be done before both nations attain their potential. In particular, the urgency of overcoming extreme poverty in Malawi concentrates my mind as I look to the future."

David Hope-Jones, principal officer of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, added: “A hearty congratulations to Ken. Fantastic to have this recognition for Ken's many years/decades of ‎service and a wonderful way to close a very successful year for the Partnership. Well done, Ken!”

Other well-known faces receiving an OBE included New Start Highland’s chief executive James Dunbar, who was honoured for his services to the development of the economy and community in the Highlands and Islands.

Dunbar started his career in homeless and addiction service with the Cross Reach charity in the 1990s before creating New Start Highland to meet the needs of people moving from crisis and challenge to become active contributors to their local community.

He said: “It is very humbling to receive such an honour and for my work to be considered worthy of an OBE.

“However, I would like the focus to be on the people whose lives we have supported. With the dedication and hard work of my team New Start Highland continues to be a place where people can realise their potential.” 

Professor Nancy Loucks, chief executive of Families Outside. Nancy was also awarded the gong for services to education and human rights.

Benjamin Goss of Elgin, the chairman of Give Them A Sporting Chance and founder of The Chaffinch Trust, was awarded an OBE for services to people with disabilities and disadvantaged people in the UK and abroad.

The majority of sector workers to be recognised were awarded MBEs and British Empire Medals (BEM).

Isabel McCue, the founder and chair of Theatre Nemo, a theatre company and charity established to highlight social issues, particularly mental health, was awarded an MBE for services to the arts and disadvantaged people in Scotland.

McCue was rocked by a personal tragedy in the year 2000 when her son John took his own life at the age of 30 but has continued to provide support for people’s mental health and wellbeing.

“It is a great honour to be given this MBE in the New Year Honours List and I accept it in the knowledge that it is not for me alone, everyone who has supported the work of Theatre Nemo over the last 15 years can celebrate knowing that they helped make Theatre Nemo a success,” she said.

“I sincerely hope that being given this MBE in recognition of Theatre Nemo’s creative interventions will help us achieve our vision for a Creative Holistic Support Centre.

“So many organisations do great work. If you believe we can have a safer, happier, healthier Scotland then let’s join up to make this possible.”

Blanche Nicolson, practice development manager Hansel Group of Charities, which supports people living with disabilities, was awarded an MBE for services to people with learning difficulties and their families.

Nicolson, who received the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award in 2014, was just 14 when Hansel was founded by her parents, Isobel and Tom Murdoch, in 1963. She remained close to Hansel in the ensuing years, joining the board of governors in 1981, and taking on the lead care management role in 1987.

Commenting on her recognition she said: “I am completely overwhelmed. To receive such an award alongside so many extraordinary people is just quite unbelievable.

“With my sister, Lindy, and my parents’ commitment to Hansel’s early years, working with people with learning difficulties has been a huge part of my life and what a joy it has been. I am truly touched to be recognised in this way.”

Others to receive MBEs included Yvonne Anderson, vice-chair of Special Olympics Scotland; Wilma Harper director corporate and forestry support division at the Forestry Commission; Georgina Maitland, founder of the Sandpiper Trust and Maureen Perera of Nairn, who founded Sri Lanka Children’s Appeal.

Elizabeth Walker, 83, was one of many volunteers recognised. She was awarded a British Empire Medal.

Walker volunteered for 18 years with ChildLine notably presented awareness-raising talks to hundreds of groups including the Scottish Parliament.

A spokesman from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), which operates the service, said: “Betty has been a fantastic ChildLine volunteer for many years and has helped hundreds of children whose lives are often blighted by a variety of problems.

“She’s a wonderful ambassador for the service, always ready to help no matter what the problem. This is a well-deserved award and we are all delighted that she has been specially recognised for this honour.”

Elsewhere, Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, was awarded a knighthood for services to cancer research. And Martyn Lewis, chairman on the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) was awarded a knighthood for services to the voluntary and charitable sectors.

8th January 2016 by me

bunch of self serving sellouts