By Alan Bell, from the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety.

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LAST time, I told you how proud I was to have been invited to Buckingham Palace for the Royal Garden Party and how I spoke with Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, Sophie the Countess of Wessex and the Queen’s cousin Princess Alexandra.

I was superbly lucky to be invited back to London just two weeks later after being surprised by the BBC’s The One Show and told that I had been chosen as a Platinum Champion for my work in the community.

Apparently, over 3,300 people had been nominated for this award which had been organised by The Royal Voluntary Service and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by honouring volunteers from across Britain.

Only 490 people were given a Platinum Champion Award with only 70 of them being invited to The Big Jubilee Lunch at The Oval in London to meet Camilla and Prince Charles and get presented with their certificates and pin badges.

As I had been surprised on The One Show, I only had three days to arrange hotel accommodation and travel for the busiest weekend of the year in London – but luckily, we managed it.

The lunch was on the Sunday but the BBC forgot to tell me that I also had a free ticket to the Party at the Palace on the Saturday. A big “thank you” must go to the New Scotland Yard Hotel for squeezing me in and to Iain Sutherland of Clyde Kilts for decking me out in my full kilt attire for the Royal lunch.

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The Party at the Palace was amazing. Seeing all the big musicians such as Queen, Rod Stewart, Duran Duran and Diana Ross play, was wonderful but the spectacular light show with hundreds of drones and projections onto Buckingham Palace was the highlight for me. Absolutely jaw dropping.

After this amazing night, it was off to The Oval in the morning where the forecast for the day was heavy rain. Luckily, the rain kept off and it was smiles all round as Prince Charles and Camilla entered to the sounds of a local pipe band and chatted with the organisers before making their way around the 70 Platinum Champions.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Duchess of Cornwall who said she knew of my work with female survivors of violence and asked if the training we provided helped build up their confidence. I explained that it did indeed give them confidence but that it also empowered them to go out and live their lives again - to which Camilla beamed and replied: “How wonderful.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Party at the PalaceParty at the Palace

The Duchess of Cornwall has, for more than seven years, highlighted the work of various domestic violence charities and has also confirmed that she will continue to do so in future as Queen Consort.

I was therefore delighted to hear that both she and The One Show host Alex Jones had personally chosen me as a Platinum Champion.

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But the surprises didn’t stop there. I was then chosen as one of only three Champions to be interviewed on The One Show to sum up how The Big Jubilee Lunch had gone and what it was like to meet Camilla.

I am so proud to have been selected to receive a Platinum Champion Award and cannot thank all those who nominated me enough. My certificate reads: “Alan Bell has been recognized for his outstanding contribution as a volunteer in the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.” I’m truly humbled.

What a wonderfully memorable weekend. These awards are a one-off and will never happen again.

Amazingly, of the 28 Platinum Champions in Scotland, three were from North Ayrshire. So congratulations to Alison McColl and George McMahon who also received an Award. Very well done.

Next time, I will tell you about some of the other Royals I have had the privilege of meeting. Until then, if you would like to know more about the work the Scottish Centre for Personal Safety, does please visit or search for ScotCPS on your social media pages. Or if you would like to hear of the renovations and discoveries we have made in the former Barony St. John’s church hall building, check out my blog at