Honour our heroes
prompted by Ewen Cameron. Morven said: “I’m very, very grateful for the award. It would be great to have a career as a singer and travel the world.
“I like to help people and influence people to be better and make the world a better place.”
Next up was the Young Entrepreneur Award with Developing the Young Workforce, which was won by Greer Phillips of Kilmarnock. Greer, who is studying at Aberdeen University, could not make the event but her award was picked up by proud mum Lyndsey. She told the audience her talented daughter was ‘ beautiful inside and out’ and was determined to make a difference.
Presenter Ewen then phoned Greer and allowed her mum to break the news to her over speakerphone. An incredulous and delighted Greer replied: “No way!”
The School Champion Award with Brownings the Bakers was picked up by popular school janitor Mark Stewart of St Patrick’s Primary in Troon. Springside man Mark, who has been at the school for 17 years, said: “I’m totally humbled.”
Class of the Year Award with Steven Brown Art was won by the senior graphic communication class at Dalmellington’s Doon Academy.
Their proud teacher Tracey Jones said: “This class always makes me smile, no matter how tough a day I’ve had. They definitely deserve this award.”
The Best Local Bar/ Restaurant Award with Reid’s Food Service was won by The Pop Inn, in Stevenston, who seemed to have brought all their staff and loyal regulars with them to the ceremony.
Owner Craig Mochan beamed: “This is absolutely amazing. I’d like to thank everyone for this award.”
The winner of the Good Neighbour Award, with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, was picked up by Frances Carson of Troon.
A humble Frances said: “I was not expecting that. There are lots of good neighbours out there, I am just one of them.”
The Best Local Charity Award, in association with The Burns Mall, Kilmarnock, was won by Ayrshire Holiday Dreams Foundation.
This local charity was born after Clic Sargent announced it was closing Malcolm Sargent House in Prestwick,
a facility which provided holiday accommodation for families living with cancer.
A subsequent campaign to save the facility sadly failed, but now the aim of Ayrshire Holiday Dreams Foundation is to build a new holiday facility.
Chairman Nigel Martin said: “This award is for all the volunteers who give freely of their time for the charity.
“The aim now is to provide a new place where families can enjoy a holiday, which for many families will be their last together, so we have to make it special.”
The Contribution to the Community Award with Spirit Aerosystems was won by James Smith of Kilbirnie, who is a Scottish ambassador for Children 1st.
James also set up Hillhead Pets Corner in Kilbirnie, which aims to help vulnerable families increase their quality of life by experiencing the outdoors.
He said: “I’ve not prepared anything, I wasn’t expecting that, but it is absolutely fabulous. I really enjoy charity work, I like to help where I can.”
The Unsung Hero Award with East, North and South Ayrshire Councils, was won by Mick Baird of Kilwinning Sports Club who coaches predominately girls and ladies, but has also offered places to boys previously turned down by other clubs.
Mick said: “Girls football is on the up and we have 120 girls playing. This award though is testament to the 40 ther people at the club and the parents who help us do what we do.
“We couldn’t do it without their support.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award with Eydent, the Alliance of Ayrshire Housing Associations, was won by Mary Anne Murphy, an 82- year- old who runs keep fit classes in her community.
The sprightly pensioner, who has run several marathons, is also a keen member of Dreghorn Musicial Society and talented soprano singer.
Mary Anne’s friends Catherine Lightfoot and Elaine Rorison accepted the award on Mary Anne’s behalf as she was enjoying a holiday – and some much needed rest and recuperation after a recent health battle – with her family in sunny Lanzarote.
The evening’s final award, the Toast of Ayrshire, which was proudly sponsored by the Kilmarnock Standard, Irvine Herald and Ayrshire Post, was won by HM Coastguard Search and Rescue.
The team, who took over from HMS Gannet only 18 months ago, have just recently carried out their 500th rescue mission.
Every day the team provide lifesaving support on and offshore – from fishing vessels in danger to mountain rescues and missing person cases.
The pilots, specialist winch operators, engineers and support staff battle treacherous and dangerous conditions every week to save hundreds of lives.
Roger Stringer and Paul Booth, from the Prestwick centre, said they were shocked and amazed to have won the award.
Paul said: “I came here as a guest and was not expecting anything else. It’s amazing.”
Colleague Roger added: “This is fantastic. We have been so embraced by the public since we set up here in Ayrshire.
“We are busy and no two days are the same. We cover a large area as far north as Barra and over to St Andrew’s on the east coast, and south into the north of England.
“But our home is here in Ayrshire and we delighted with this award.”
Our pictures are by Chloe Adams.
Congratulations Meet the 2017 Cream of Ayrshire award winners
Stage is set The Pop Inn staff go wild after their big win