Volunteer Transport Winners Celebrated

Lucy Johnston2022, News

Left to right – Ken Fairweather, Rebecca Ross, Provost Judy Whyte, Jane Mitchell, and Edith MacDonald.

Winners of the Grampian Volunteer Transport Awards have been announced.

Held every two years since 2014, the awards recognise the work conducted by volunteers across the Northeast.

The awards are supported by the group of public and third sector organisations involved in delivering the Health & Transport Action Plan, including NHS Grampian, Nestrans, local authorities and others.

Joint winners of Volunteer Driver/Escort of the Year were Ken Fairweather of Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network and Edith MacDonald of Voluntary Service Aberdeen. Mr Fairweather was recognised for his 20 years of volunteering helping residents get to health appointments. Ms MacDonald was recognised for her kindness supporting those she works with, being described by a client as “a real Earth angel.”

Rebecca Ross of Banffshire Partnership received the Special Contribution award. Rebecca volunteers her evenings and weekends helping others regain their ability to get back to health and independence. She takes people to medical appointments, vaccinations, the optician, often accompanying throughout if they are nervous or confused.

The Organisation of the Year award was presented to Jane Mitchell on behalf of Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network. The organisation supports the health and wellbeing of older people across Kincardine and Mearns. The group has recently celebrated have recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary. The judges were impressed with the praise and high regard shown by those nominating the organisation. Judges commended the reliability and dedication of the volunteers and how the organisation had helped residents access health and other important services.

Andrew Stewart, Health and Transport Action Plan Programme Manager said “Many vulnerable people rely on volunteer transport services to help them access health and social care. The recent awards have highlighted the significant efforts of those already providing voluntary community transport. All the Health and Action Transport Plan (HTAP) partners supporting the awards are pleased to create a platform for celebrating this important sector.”

Each winner received a high street gift voucher worth £100 sponsored by local road haulier Colin Lawson Transport. The prizes were presented to winners by Aberdeenshire’s Provost Judy Whyte at an event held on Friday 9th December, hosted by Aberdeenshire Council.