A GROUP of volunteers based in the Barony St John Centre in Ardrossan have been honoured with the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety have been named as winners of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

They provide empowering personal safety and self defence training to vulnerable groups and individuals including female survivors of violence, people who are sensory impaired, children and youths, people with dwarfism and people from LGBTI and ethnic minority communities…and they do it all with only nine volunteer instructors and no paid staff.

The centre is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups that benefits their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and recipients are announced each year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.

Representatives of The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety will receive the award from the Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, Sheriff Iona Sara McDonald, later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from the charity will attend a garden party at Holyroodhouse in July 2021.

Volunteer manager and founder of The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety, Alan Bell commented; “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted that our charity’s work in empowering vulnerable people has been recognised with such a prestigious award from Her Majesty, The Queen. I would like to pay tribute to the hard work and commitment of our volunteers, both present and past.

“We are run entirely by volunteers who give up their time and skills free of charge to enable us to function.

“To all our volunteers, I’d like to say a heartfelt Thank You. We simply couldn’t function without you.”