Volunteer Drivers across Grampian recognised for their vital service

Lucy Johnston 2020, News

Transport volunteers across the North-east have been recognised for their outstanding service, commitment and contribution at the Grampian Volunteer Transport Awards.

The biennial awards highlight the vital support that community transport provides. The service plays a critical role helping those who face difficulty travelling to key services. The work of those in volunteering roles has been crucial in this challenging year for communities.

Today’s (Tuesday 27th October) virtual ceremony saw winners recognised for a range of work:

Volunteer Driver/Escort of the Year was jointly-awarded to Norman Kinnaird of Huntly Community Mini Bus and to Dave McLauchlin, Aberdeen Cyrenians.

In his role with the Huntly Community Mini Bus, Norman has been a lifeline for many in the area.  He has worked tirelessly during the pandemic to promote and operate the mini bus. Those who rely on the service praised Norman for ‘going out of his way’ and for providing social interaction for many who were isolated.

As a volunteer driver for over six years with Aberdeen Cyrenians, Dave has been a vital part of their emergency food service during Covid-19. Dave’s work to collect food donations meant that the Cyrenians could continue to replenish stocks to meet the high demand for the service.

The Community Contribution (Organisation) Award was presented to North East Rider Volunteers Scotland (NERVS). The group of over 250 volunteers provide an essential service transporting medical supplies, treatments and equipment. Their efforts during the pandemic expanded to include the coordination of emergency prescription deliveries, as well as transporting doctors and nurses who faced difficulties in getting to work.

Special mention was also given to Aberdeenshire Council officers Charles Mackintosh (Duty Officer) and Tracey Morris (Facilities Officer) who went the extra mile as part of their work helping those shielding, delivering food and prescriptions.

Each winner was awarded a £250 prize donated by Colin Lawson Transport.

A special prize for notable mention has been donated by Live Life Aberdeenshire and was awarded to Rachel Milne of North East Transport Training.

The awards are supported by Health & Transport Action Plan (HTAP) partner organisations across public, third and commercial sectors in Grampian.

Andrew Stewart, HTAP Programme Manager said, “The awards are an opportunity to shine a light on those who gave their time to help keep people connected, safe and well. We have seen many wonderful acts of public service and hope that the awards will elevate the awareness and understanding of the crucial role played by the voluntary sector in the overall transport environment.”

“Our judges this year were overwhelmed reading the stories of so many volunteers. They felt all the nominations were highly deserving of recognition and reflected an amazing contribution to our communities. I know that the HTAP partners who support the awards are honoured to be celebrating this important sector.”