The sun shone down on Ardrossan last Saturday as the volunteers from The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, Sheriff Iona Sara McDonald, attended the ceremony on behalf of Her Majesty, The Queen. She paid tribute to the charity which provides personal safety and self-defense training to vulnerable people, including female survivors of violence, children, people with sensory impairments and dwarfism, people from LGBTI and ethnic minority communities.

During the ceremony the Lord Lieutenant said; “It is with the greatest of pleasure that I, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, present the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service to the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety. This voluntary service provides training to individuals, groups and businesses on personal safety, conflict resolution and self-defence. In the 20 years of its existence the group have supported over 6,500 people. A remarkable achievement which is recognised by this award.”

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service recognises outstanding voluntary work that benefits local communities and is the equivalent of an MBE for volunteer groups.

The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety and their volunteers received a crystal trophy, a certificate from the Queen and individual badges to commemorate their achievements.

The certificate reads; “The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety; Empowering vulnerable people and saving lives through bespoke Personal Safety training since 1997” and is signed “Elizabeth R” by The Queen.

Volunteer manager and founder of the charity Alan Bell commented; “It was a beautiful sunny day in Ardrossan and, in these COVID-aware times, this enabled us to have a socially distanced presentation indoors followed by refreshments outdoors in our garden area.

“Many thanks to the Lord Lieutenant and her photographer, Gordon, for making the award presentation go so well and I cannot thank our volunteers enough for all their hard work and dedication.

“It is such an honour to have our achievements in empowering vulnerable people – and saving a few lives along the way - acknowledged by Her Majesty, The Queen.”