The Stirling Provost's Awards ceremony took place on Saturday (26th February) in the lesser Albert Hall to shine a light on the region’s ‘local heroes’.
The Stirling Provost's Awards ceremony took place in the lesser Albert Hall to shine a light on the region’s ‘local heroes’.

These prestigious awards, long delayed due to Coronavirus restrictions, recognised individuals or organisations who made an outstanding contribution to the community during the pandemic.

Local people were asked to nominate individuals or groups deserving of recognition for their outstanding efforts to help others cope in these challenging times.

There was also a special Graham Lambie Award in memory of the former Councillor who sadly passed away last year, presented by his mother Alison, to a recipient from within the Forth and Endrick Ward which Councillor Lambie had served since 2007.

Stories of kindness and generosity

Provost Christine Simpson said the ceremony was just a small token of Stirling’s appreciation for the outstanding work undertaken throughout the region during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Provost Simpson said: “Over the last two years we have all faced many unique challenges we have never encountered before, and it is important that we recognise the people in our communities who have gone above and beyond to help those around them.

“Many people carried out selfless acts to help others cope with the effects of the pandemic. These awards are in recognition of their efforts.

“On each occasion I have hosted this event I am humbled and inspired by stories of the kindness and generosity of spirit shown by the people of Stirling.

“The fact that the nominations come from members of the community makes it extra special. It's always a pleasure to meet with the winners in person and huge congratulations to them all.”

Among those recognised at the Awards ceremony were:

  • Balfron Lunch Club

Since March 2020 the team of volunteers have continued to cook, pack and deliver a hot two course meal to up to 35 people in Balfron. From October 2021 this has been extended to a hybrid of people meeting for a meal and chat and meals being delivered to others who are unable to leave home.

  • Tracy Crossan

Tracy helped ensure people did not go without and brought smiles to people’s faces during COVID. As well as raising thousands of pounds for Charity and donating hundreds of gifts to local charities and good causes, she did doorstep drops at Easter, Halloween and Christmas, bringing smiles to countless children and adult’s faces.

  • Dorothy Morrow and Alan Morrow

Since March 2020 both Dorothy and Alan Morrow have been involved in ensuring that vulnerable and elderly residents within the Bannockburn, St Ninians, Whins of Milton and Stirling areas have been supplied with soup and home baking on a twice-weekly basis.

In June 2020, the Community Larder, based in Bannockburn Community Centre, opened to help the people of Bannockburn in need of additional support during furlough or those on benefits in need of support. During the winter, coats and jackets for adults and a selection of children's clothing were made available.

  • Janet Richards and Emma Richards

Janet and Emma run the village shop at Strathyre. At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown they took on the role they called ‘Team Shop’ to provide an enhanced service for their local communities. They increased the stock that they held, took phone orders and packaged the ‘messages’ for delivery each afternoon by a series of volunteers in each village. The volunteers would also deliver prescriptions which were brought to the shop from the chemist in Callander.

  • Owen McKee

Owen runs the village shop in Lochearnhead and during lockdown in 2020 he started providing an enhanced service for his local community as it was difficult, especially for those shielding, to obtain essential supplies of food and other products.

He increased the stock that he normally holds so that the shop could provide much needed groceries and other goods for his customers in the three village communities. With the help of local volunteers he arranged the delivery of the vital supplies to locals who could not go to the shop and collect items themselves.

  • Karen Ross

Karen, the local postmistress, is the forward planner and leader of Kilmadock Development Trust, which is a charitable organisation promoting and responding to the needs of the community. She brought together individuals from across the community to form the board of Directors.

Karen also organised the part time staff and four of the Directors on rotation to keep the Post Office open. They worked with tremendous dedication and commitment, often going above and beyond to cater and care for customers.

  • 88th Stirling (Braehead) Scout Group

Throughout the Covid lockdown and restrictions, the leaders continued to provide a platform for the young people to interact and feel less isolated, relieving anxiety and fears through continuing to provide group activities and fun, albeit not face to face.

The Scout Group leaders and volunteers have continued their commitment and enthusiasm for Scouting throughout the pandemic, providing young people with the spirit to continue building new skills, fulfilling their potential and be independent and responsible.

  • 1st Stirlingshire Scout Group

During lockdown the Cub leaders arranged to have resources delivered to the Cubs and began weekly Zoom meetings to ensure that the children had continuous opportunities to learn new skills, stay healthy outdoors, make new friends and challenge themselves.

During Spring 2020 the children were able to take part in crafts, build dens and “camp at home”, complete family scavenger hunts in the local area, do science experiments, finish challenges to do household chores and learn bike maintenance, along with simply catching up with friends.

  • The Councillor Graham Lambie Award - Elsie Andrews

Elsie Andrews has, with her husband Jim, run McFarlane’s Ironmongery in Buchanan Street, Balfron for the past 35 years, and since the death of Jim some years ago, done so single-handedly. Throughout the pandemic she fought to keep the service running uninterrupted, providing an essential service to the community throughout.

This was hugely valued by all her many customers in Balfron and the surrounding communities. She has given her life to the benefit and well-being of Balfron and the wider communities of the Forth & Endrick Ward.

  • The Provost’s Charity of the Year - The Stirling School of English

Volunteers at the School support refugees/economic migrants and students from around the world. The work they do goes far beyond ‘Teaching English’ as a second language, helping address head-on complex social dilemmas, isolation and promote social inclusion, as well as offering a helping hand-up to those who need support. 

Their achievements and their dedication help them to turn lives around for the better, empowering others to improve their life chances through the power of education.