Dumfries and Galloway volunteers are among the Coronation Champions announced in the run-up to the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort.
They include Stephen Carruthers who helped to get a new half million pound performing arts centre up and running for Dalbeattie. Stephen is a tireless youth leader, supporting young people with mental health issues. He has been called an inspiration to those he helps.
Lord Sinclair, Lord-Lieutenant of The Stewartry said, “The Coronation Champion celebrates those volunteers who have made a huge impact within their communities. I am delighted that Stephen has been recognised as one of our regions’ Coronation Champions for his commitment and for his outstanding contribution to the arts, and for being instrumental in making this happen”.
Matthew Rolfe from the Summerhill Community Centre in Dumfries has also been recognised. Matthew never stops in his efforts to keep the place operating – maintaining the building, organising events, cooking, running the website – and even grass cutting for neighbours.
Laura Howieson from Dumfries has been selected for setting up the Dumfries and Galloway Eco Warriors. She has been praised for organising teams of volunteers to do beach cleans and keep the coastline tidy. Laura has also helped rescue seals washed up on the shore.
Fiona Armstrong, Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries said, “I am thrilled to hear that Laura and Matthew have been honoured in this way. What a wonderful addition they are to our communities!”
The Coronation Champions Awards are organised by the Royal Voluntary Service and celebrate extraordinary volunteers who have been contributing to their communities. The project has the backing of the Queen. Thousands of people aged from 14 to 103 from all over the UK – and supporting a range of causes – were nominated and from these, 500 volunteers were chosen.
Councillor Malcolm Johnstone, Convener of Dumfries and Galloway Council said, “It is terrific to have three Dumfries and Galloway volunteers receiving this accolade for all their hard work and dedication. Well done, Stephen, Matthew and Laura”.
Councillor Gail MacGregor, Depute Convener of Dumfries and Galloway Council added, “I am delighted that Stephen, Laura and Matthew have been recognised for the incredible work they do within our communities and for the region. These individuals are worthy Coronation Champions and encapsulate all the wonderful work willing volunteers do, across Dumfries and Galloway”.