Third sector heroes scoop New Year Honours

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David Duke, Grant Douglas from S'up and ACOSVO chief executive Pat Armstrong are amongst those who have received awards

3rd January 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scottish charity leaders and volunteers were amongst those recognised in this year's New Year's Honours List.

Andrew Robertson, chair of LAR Housing Trust and former chairman of veterans charitty Erskine, was awarded a CBE, the highest honour before a knighthood, in recognition of his services to veterans, healthcare and affordable housing.

A lawyer by profession, Robertson spent almost 40 years at social housing and charity law practice TC Young and is now playing a leading role in LAR's plans to build 1,000 affordable homes across Scotland.

Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations (ACOSVO) chief executive Pat Armstrong was also recognised with an OBE for services to voluntary organisations. Armstrong has led the organisation since 2003 and has worked in the third sector for more than 25 years.

She said: “Many thanks to everyone for all the good wishes. I'm humbled to be amongst a great team and continually inspired by all our amazing third sector leaders. An honour shared!”

Former Grampian Television presenter Joan Ingram was also awarded an OBE for voluntary work having served as a patient representative on NHS Grampian’s patient’s forum and on the NHS Scotland Diabetes Group.

She said: “I’m just a volunteer but there are so many people around us handling their own very real health issues with quiet heroism.

“They deserve awards, our attention and as much help as we can give them.”

Dr Rajan Madhok, who founded the Darlinda Charity for Renal Research following the death of his wife more than 20 years ago, and Equality and Human Rights Commissioner for Scotland Dr Lesley Sawers also gained the accolade.

Street Soccer Scotland founder David Duke was amongst those awarded an MBE and said that the hard work of all those involved with Scotland's Charity of the Year winning organsiation had been rewarded.

"It's not really something you think about," Duke said.

"I got the letter in and it took me by shock, but really it's not just about me, it's recognition of the wider piece in terms of the work that all the staff and volunteers do.

"There have been so many people on the outside who have given us help and support and it's kind of for them as well, but I'm totally humbled and shocked by it."

Grant Douglas, founder and chief executive of S’up Products, also received the award for services to people with disabilities.

Douglas teamed up with industrial designer Mark Penver, from 4c Design, to create an innovative spoon to help people with shaky hands from conditions such as cerebral palsy, essential tremor and Parkinson’s.

He said: “It was a total shock, I couldn’t believe it when the letter came through the letterbox.

“When you get feedback from people all over the world saying what a difference the spoon has made it just makes it all worthwhile.”

Craig Graham, chairman of the Spartans Community Football Academy, was recognised for his work in setting up the community football academy 12 years ago.

He said: “I happen to have got dead lucky to have this award, but it’s really on behalf of everyone at Spartans over the last 10 years and all the efforts they have put in. It’s exciting and obviously you always appreciate when someone recognises your work.”

Sara Lee Fitzsimmons, executive charity director at SiMBA, also got an MBE for her work in supporting bereaved families and Alexander Duncan was recognised for his work with the Vine Trust and the Scouting movement.

Volunteers who received MBEs included Margaret Moodie (St Columba’s Hospice) and Ann Muir (Macmillan Cancer Voice), and there were also a host of British Empire Medals awarded to those who gave up their time for others.