NEARING the end of a gloomy year, the morale-boosting toast this week was not doubles but “trebles all round” to the folk and groups from our area who have won THREE national awards in a single week.
And all of them are honours won for making life that bit happier for everyone.
This triple helping of good news starts with the story of Margaret Allison who, aged just 22, has been named Carer of the Year for her work with 45 elderly residents of the Beechgrove Care Home in Lanark.
The accolade came at the annual awards at the Scottish Care National Conference at the Glasgow Hilton, hosted by TV presenter Michelle McManus.
The award comes just four and a half years into her career. Margaret, of Coronation Street, Carstairs Junction, told the Gazette: “It’s a job I always wanted to do and one that I really enjoy doing, especially when the residents become more your pals than clients.
“I started working at Beechrove straight out of Lanark Grammar and I don’t think I’ll ever want to do any other kind of work. I really enjoy my job.
“I was absolutely speechless when they read out my name at the awards ceremony.”
She was nominated by her bosses at Beechgrove, one of whom described Maragret as “a natural; you could tell it the minute she walked in the door at Beechgrove. She has a wonderful manner with the residents and they all adore her.“
It was teamwork at the Lanark-based Clydesdale Community Initiatives which brought it a major national honour at the BBC Scotland Business Diversity Awards, aimed at rewarding organisations and firms employing folk with disabilities and health problems and allowing them to achieve their full potential.
The North Vennel company’s work is well known, it having created the Sensory Garden near Lanark Racecourse and the Wallace wild garden in Delves Park; its latest achievement was the acclaimed upgrade of Market Square in Carluke.
It was in the Supported Employment Service Provider of the Year category that the firm triumphed.
CCI managing director Niall McShannon said: “This is a great boost to the morale of all the people who work with us and a great encouragement.
“We’ve been going seven years and it’s superb to get recognition for all the hard work put into the schemes we’ve carried out.”
Last but no means least in the triple victory tally for our area in the past week is Clydesdale Mills Society which has managed to turn a historical exercise into an award-winning one!
The Society has won Central Scotland Forest Trust’s (CSFT) Best Garden Competition 2011.
The win came in the Best Community Garden category, which was open to individuals, community groups and schools.
A wildflower meadow was created as part of the restoration at the Hyndford Mills site on the outskirts of Lanark, following archaeological excavations of the site which began in 2007.
The Society was set up originally to record the many now redundant mills locally.
Said a spokesman: “This project helped to encourage biodiversity in the area and boost the ecology and economy by attracting visitors.”