VOLUNTEERS from Carrick were among those celebrated for their dedication to a host of causes at the first South Ayrshire Volunteer Awards.
Organised by Voluntary Action South Ayrshire (VASA) the ceremony recognised both young and not so young, with the Saltire Awards for 12-25 year olds getting their first outing since replacing the Millennium Volunteer Awards in April, and the South Ayrshire Volunteer Awards (SAVAs) for older residents having completed between five and 20+ years of voluntary work.
And there was a strong Carrick contingent at the presentation ceremony in Ayr Town Hall on Friday October 26.
Girvan Community Garden marked its first length of service with volunteer Ward Higgins earning a Bronze award, while youngsters from Girvan Youth Trust’s Hand in Hand Project and sub-group The Buddies were rewarded for their practical and support work, including the creation a mural at Invergarven School’s playground.
Z1 staff from various initiatives were also commended, and among their number was Oasis Youth Project founder John McClelland, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 19 years of service.
Volunteers from Girvan’s Ayrshire Hospice charity shop in Chalmer’s Arcade were also out in force, with 21 ladies all receiving awards.
Their group included no less than six Lifetime Achievement Awards, which went to Buddy Sloan, Lexie Eaglesham, May Roulston, Anne Marshall, Patsy Devin and Isobel Powell.
Shop manager Christine Walker said she was proud to see the Ayrshire Hospice so well represented.
“Certainly without the volunteers the shop would not be able to run and make the money that it does,” she said. “It’s quite a commitment that they all make to the shop every week and it was really nice to see them all recognised for their length of service.”
Maybole’s Yvonne Morrison was also delighted to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for her 27 years’ service to Ayrshire Cancer Support, driving cancer patients from all over Ayrshire to hospital for chemotherapy.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my work over the years and made a lot of great friends, so it was a nice surprise and greatly appreciated to receive an award,” she said.
Three Girvan ladies were also rewarded for their work with the Public Partnership Forum.
Betty McQuiston and Cathie Collins were presented with Silver Awards in recognition of their 10 years’ dedication to the PPF, while Wilma Dunlop received a Bronze Award for five years’ service.
“It was a lovely evening and it really was a pleasure to go to it,” said Cathie. “This year it was pertinent to all ages, and really enjoyable.”
Public Participation Officer Gill Rogers said their nominations were well-deserved.
“They have worked selflessly to share health and social care information not only with the Community Council but also with the wider Carrick community and been instrumental in organising events to encourage local people to become involved in the Public Partnership Forum,” she said.