Humanitarian heroes called up in memory of Burns

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NOMINATIONS for one of the world’s most prestigious humanitarian accolades - with a a link to South Ayrshire history - are now open.

The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award recognises a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or ‘hands on’ charitable work.

Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas – a sum which signifies the year of the national bard’s birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland.

Launched in 2002, the award is supported by South Ayrshire Council, EventScotland and VisitScotland. The tenth anniversary winner was Karen Graham, a Scots nurse who risked her life to treat patients from both sides of the Libyan civil war.

Previous recipients include Linda Norgrove, the Scottish aid worker who died during a US military-led rescue mission to free her from Afghanistani captors; Habib Malik, Scotland Manager of the Disasters Emergency Committee and a member Islamic Relief; and Guy Willoughby, Founder and CEO of the HALO Trust which specialises in the removal of war debris.

David Anderson, Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council and Chair of the 2013 Robert Burns Humanitarian Award judging panel, said: “Burns’ famous words, ‘Man to Man the world o’er, Shall brothers be for a’ that’, are the inspiration behind the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award.

“We’re looking for nominations for people who go above and beyond the call of duty to help others and have an affinity with their fellow human beings – those individuals who personify the qualities of tolerance, friendship and humanity.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland added: “The Burns Humanitarian Award is a prestigious accolade and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate outstanding individuals who do a tremendous amount of work in the community and often go unrecognised.

“We are delighted to be part of this celebration of their achievements, and I would encourage people to get their nominations in for the people who make a real difference to the lives of others.”

Nominees can be from any part of the world and be of any age or gender, and applications can be made at Nominations close on Friday November 9.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway in January, which will coincide with the 254rd anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.