Lochaber group hon­ours stal­warts at an­nual ‘Voscars’ pre­sen­ta­tion

The Oban Times - - News -

VOL­UN­TEERS across Lochaber were hon­oured at the sec­ond an­nual vol­un­teer awards on Thurs­day June 9.

The ‘Voscars’, or­gan­ised by Vol­un­tary Ac­tion Lochaber (VAL), recog­nised the work of vol­un­teers in the com­mu­nity across seven dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories.

Ewen’s Room, which pro­vides sup­port and in­for­ma­tion for those suf­fer­ing from men­tal health is­sues, was pre­sented the Or­gan­i­sa­tion of the Year award by VAL chair­man Ger­ald McIn­tyre. Re­ceiv­ing run­ner’s up cer­tifi­cates in this cat­e­gory were Ari­saig Com­mu­nity Trust and the Room 13 art project.

Alis­tair MacKin­non, di­rec­tor-pres­i­dent of Fort Wil­liam Rugby Club re­ceived the Board/Com­mit­tee Mem­ber of the Year award, pre­sented by Coun­cil­lor Brian Mur­phy. Fort Wil­liam Town Team’s Sue Keen and Fort Wil­liam FC sec­re­tary Marie McMil­lan were run­ners up.

Lochaber Hope re­ceived the award for Best Vol­un­teer Sup­port­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion award from Les­ley Ben­field, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Lochaber Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Run­ners up were Lochaber and District Ca­nine So­ci­ety and the West High­land Mu­seum. Theresa De Bil­lot ac­cepted the award on be­half of Lochaber Hope. She thanked all the vol­un­teers that work with the or­gan­i­sa­tion and said: ‘We cher­ish ev­ery one of them and couldn’t be with­out them.’

The Good Neigh­bour of the Year award went to Su­san Han­nah who looks af­ter her el­derly neigh­bours. Ro­tary Club Pres­i­dent Terry Lee pre­sented her with the award. The run­ners up were Cathy Steven­son and Stan­ley and Agnes Cameron.

Naomi Han­nah was the Young Scot Vol­un­teer of the Year, hav­ing ac­crued more vol­un­teer hours than any other Kin­lochleven High School stu­dent. Run­ners up were Lewis Ross and An­drew Jack­son, and the award was pre­sented by LHS Sup­port for Learn­ing teacher, Mrs Lynn MacAl­lis­ter.

James Kennedy won the Vol­un­teer of the Year award for his work with Fort Wil­liam Town Team. Ian Don­ald, High­land Third Sec­tor In­ter­face deputy chief of­fi­cer pre­sented this award. Run­ners up were Sarah Kennedy and Lor­raine Whee­lan.

Avril Watt of Kin­lochleven re­ceived the Life­time Achieve­ment award from last year’s win­ner, Sheena Fraser, for her wide ar­ray of vol­un­teer­ing work, in­clud­ing look­ing af­ter all the com­mu­nity gar­dens in the vil­lage and be­ing part of var­i­ous com­mit­tees such as the Pris­oner of War Camp group and the Com­mu­nity Trust, which she has just re­tired from af­ter six years. She said: ‘I don’t class my­self as a vol­un­teer. It’s just part of my life and it’s what I do.’

Run­ners up were John Fother­ing­ham of the Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Ach­nacarry com­mu­nity coun­cil and Sally Mor­ris who has been with Lochaber Credit Union for more than eight years.

Ian Black­ford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber. sent a let­ter of apol­ogy for not be­ing able to at­tend due to West­min­ster du­ties. In the let­ter, which VAL man­ager Flora McKee read dur­ing the cer­e­mony, he con­grat­u­lated and thanked all the Lochaber vol­un­teers and the ‘many un­sung he­roes’ in the com­mu­nity.

Win­ners of the seven awards.

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