Alan makes a dif­fer­ence

Teenager gets pres­ti­gious award

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - News - An­drew Bargh

An Air­drie teenager has been awarded one of the Boys’ Bri­gade’s most pres­ti­gious ac­co­lades.

Alan Gra­ham, 18, has been pre­sented with the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Make a Dif­fer­ence award af­ter ded­i­cat­ing more than 250 hours of vol­un­tary ser­vice to Air­drie food­bank.

The for­mer Air­drie Academy pupil has been a mem­ber of the Boys’ Bri­gade since he was just fiveyears-old and last year re­ceived the Queen’s Badge, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s high­est hon­our.

Now the 1st New Mon­k­land com­pany mem­ber’s en­deav­our and pos­i­tiv­ity have re­sulted in him be­com­ing one of only four BBs in the UK, and the only one in Scot­land, to be awarded the Make a Dif­fer­ence ac­co­lade this year.

The de­lighted Gartlea res­i­dent said: “I get a great sense of ful­fil­ment from vol­un­teer­ing at the food­bank.

“As much as the award is about recog­nis­ing my con­tri­bu­tion, all I want to do is raise aware­ness of the food­bank.

“I’ve been vol­un­teer­ing for two years now and for me it’s all about get­ting in­volved and help­ing out in my com­mu­nity.

“My vol­un­teer­ing has given me a much clearer un­der­stand­ing of food­banks and just how many peo­ple rely on them.

“It’s an amaz­ing feel­ing and a great hon­our to be given a Make a Dif­fer­ence award.”

Alan be­gan work­ing at the food­bank to build to­wards his Queen’s Badge which re­quires com­plet­ing 30 hours of vol­un­tary ser­vice in the com­mu­nity.

He added: “Some peo­ple just do what is nec­es­sary to get their badge but I wanted to keep help­ing.

“I re­mem­ber be­ing in the ju­nior sec­tion and look­ing up to the older guys think­ing ‘I want to be like them one day’.

“They were an in­spi­ra­tion to me and have helped me get to where I am in the Bri­gade to­day.”

Alan’s dad, Steven, said: “We’re de­lighted for our son and very proud of his achieve­ments.

“He re­ally en­joys vol­un­teer­ing and is proud to rep­re­sent the Boys’ Bri­gade.

“His ef­fort goes deeper than the norm and he re­ally un­der­stands what he is in­volved in.”

Alan was pre­sented with his Make a Dif­fer­ence award by news presenter and for­mer BB mem­ber John MacKay, who also treated him to a tour of the stu­dio where he saw a live news broad­cast.

John said: “It’s a re­mark­able thing for such a young man to get in­volved in the food bank and make a dif­fer­ence to so­ci­ety. Alan’s story is an in­spir­ing one.”

Air­drie food­bank man­ager, David Findlay, added: “We are de­lighted that Alan’s vol­un­teer­ing has been recog­nised.

“His com­mit­ment has been un­re­lent­ing. He is al­ways will­ing to get in­volved in dif­fer­ent as­pects of the op­er­a­tion and we are ex­tremely grate­ful to Alan and his par­ents for their con­tin­ued sup­port.” Cook­ers, Dish­wash­ers, Wash­ing Ma­chines, Fridges, Freez­ers

Vol­un­teer Alan has de­voted more than 250 hours to the food­bank

Top team Alan with his fel­low food­bank vol­un­teers

Award Alan is con­grat­u­lated by John MacKay

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