Scotland’s charity workers recognised by the Queen

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Charity workers and volunteers top the list of those highlighted in the New Year's Honour's list

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5th January 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

People who work and volunteer in Scotland's third-sector featured heavily in this year’s New Year Honours List.

Of almost 150 recipients in Scotland around 40 were recognised for their work directly with a voluntary organisation or charity and a number of others were recognised for wider charity work including fundraising.

Chief executive of Young Scot Louise MacDonald, who in 2014 was named one of the Top 30 Social CEOs in the UK by the Guardian, was awarded an OBE for her contribution and passion for improving the lives of all young people in Scotland.

She has been chief executive of the national youth agency for seven years, and prior to that had a varied career in the public sector, including specialising in youth volunteering and community enterprises.

Following her latest recognition she heaped praise on those around her.

Louise Macdonald

Louise Macdonald

I’m surprised but touched by this recognition for what I do and how I do it – it motivates me to work even harder with others to create a world where we celebrate the truth about youth

“The work I do is without question a privilege – working with brilliant colleagues united by a passion to improve the lives of all young people in Scotland,” she said.

“Being inspired by the talent, resilience, compassion, ambition and commitment of young Scots is a daily occurrence for me.

“It’s a joy to be alongside them as they seek to make meaning in the world. I’m surprised but touched by this recognition for what I do and how I do it – it motivates me to work even harder with others to create a world where we celebrate the truth about youth and love all of our young people equally.”

Also awarded an OBE was Roy Cox, the chair of Sense Scotland, who received his award for services to the deafblind.

Cox has been chairman of the Sense Scotland board of trustees for 22 years and along with his wife Liz was part of the original group of parents who canvassed for services for deafblind children in, what at the time was, the Strathclyde region in 1985.

Of his award he said: “I am flattered that I am thought worthy of such an accolade. My wife and family have also contributed so much to the growth and success of Sense Scotland and must share in any recognition.

“Our daughter Cheryl who was born deaf and blind was amongst the first to benefit from specialist education and touch signing.

“I'm very proud to have been involved from the start providing services in communication for people who would not normally have been given an opportunity to actively participate in our world.”

Roy and Liz Cox

Roy and Liz Cox

 Andy Kerr, chief executive of Sense Scotland added: “All of us at Sense Scotland were delighted to hear that our chairman, Roy Cox, had been awarded an OBE for his dedicated service to our charity and social enterprise.

“Roy and his wife were critical members of the original group of parents who set up Sense Scotland, which has grown from a small office in Dumbarton Road to an organisation that successfully supports thousands of disabled people and their families, in our projects and services, throughout Scotland.

“It is particularly joyous for us to join Roy in celebrating his award at this time as we enter into 2015, the year in which we mark our 30th Anniversary and look forward to building upon those strong founding values that remain at the core of our service”

Allan Bantick the former chair of Scottish Wildlife Trust, received an OBE for services to conservation. 

Chairman of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Robin Harper, said: “Allan Bantick made a terrific job of chairing the board for the last six years. His dedication to the trust was universally acknowledged as being above and beyond the call of duty. He is extremely worthy of an OBE and will be a continued champion for wildlife in Scotland.”

Also awarded an OBE was Ann Houston, the former chief executive of Children 1st.

Houston retired last year following a career spanning four decades, playing a prominent role in promoting the rights and needs of vulnerable children and young people in Scotland.

Alison Todd, chief executive of Children 1st said: “We are absolutely delighted that Anne’s contribution  to children and families in Scotland has been recognised in this way. Influencing public policy and decisions to ensure a happy, healthy, safe and secure childhood for all is of the highest importance to Children 1st, and during her time as chief executive Anne made sure listening to and learning from children and families was integral to this work, a legacy that we are committed to building on.” 

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

Denis Curran, whose speech to the Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee became a viral hit on YouTube, received an MBE for his services to charity and the homeless in Glasgow through his work as chair of Loaves and Fishes.

Chairman of the Royal British Legion Scotland Robert Allan, chief executive of St Columba’s Hospice Margaret Dunbar, chair of mental healthcare charity Voices of Experience Joyce Mouriki, and chief executive of respite carer Leuchie House Mairi O’Keefe were some of the other high-profile members of the sector to be awarded MBEs.