Last night saw St John Scotland represented at not one, but two, glittering awards ceremonies celebrating the achievements of volunteers.
There were celebrations all around as Fife Patient Transport Co-ordinator, Findlay Macrae, was handed the ‘Mature Volunteer’ award at Fife Voluntary Action’s award in Glenrothes.
The team of Patient Transport drivers in Angus and Dundee were also finalists in the ‘Volunteer Team of the Year’ category at Volunteer Dundee’s awards, but were pipped to the post by the Ninewells Community Garden project which won on the night.
Speaking of his shock at receiving the award, Findlay said: “I’m not a person used to receiving honours or recognition for what I do, so I’m absolutely delighted to have been given this award.”
Findlay helped set up the patient transport service in early 2017. The service sees a team of 19 volunteer drivers offer transport to dialysis patients from across Fife to attend appointments at two hospitals in the region. Findlay gives up his time to manage the rota for the team of volunteers, making sure the service runs smoothly and reliably for patients. He also stands in as relief driver when needed.
Ever modest about his achievements, Findlay also wanted to recognise the other volunteers that give their time to the project: “Although it’s my name on the trophy, it’s a celebration of the hard work from all the volunteers in the team. We’re pleased that we’re able to make life easier for the people we help with the Patient Transport service.”
NHS Fife Chair, Tricia Marwick, congratulated Findlay on his award, saying: “I am delighted that Findlay has been recognised for the important role he plays transporting patients to the renal units; these are patients who may otherwise have difficulty making their important appointments due to health reasons or transport issues. Across Fife, we are very fortunate to be able to rely on the services of hundreds of volunteers who give up their time to help others. Findlay’s award not only celebrates his own work, it also shines a light on the work of all of the volunteers who give up their time every day.”
The team in Angus and Dundee, although missing out on the award on the night, were pleased to have been recognised by being shortlisted.
Malcolm Wright, Chief Executive of NHS Tayside congratulated the team on reaching the finals of the awards, saying: "Congratulations to the St John Scotland volunteers on being shortlisted for this award. I'd like to thank the team on behalf of the many patients in Tayside who rely on their help to transport them to and from vital appointments. We are very grateful for the service they deliver which makes the lives of patients and their families easier during challenging times."
Executive Director of St John Scotland, Angus Loudon, paid tribute to all the volunteers: “We’re thrilled that both Findlay and the team in Angus and Dundee were shortlisted in their respective award categories, an achievement in itself given the tough competition at both ceremonies. We’re especially delighted that Findlay has been recognised by walking away with the award on the night.
“As a charity, we rely on dedicated volunteers like the Patient Transport teams in Fife, Angus and Dundee, and also Dumfries and Galloway, to achieve our life-saving and life-enhancing work, so we want to take this opportunity to thank them all for their hard work and dedication over the years.”