Queen’s Award for volunteers Galloway Mountain Rescue Service

Volunteer organisation Galloway Mountain Rescue Service has been presented with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award that a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Since being formed in 1975, the group of 48 highly trained unpaid volunteers has responded to over 600 incidents and are on-call and ready to mobilise for emergencies at any time of the day or night, every single day of the year, whatever the weather.

From their base in Newton Stewart, the dedicated men and women have provided life-saving assistance to walkers, climbers, and accident victims in challenging and often remote terrain stretching from Stranraer to Dumfries and from the Solway Coast to the South Ayrshire Hills.

They also frequently provide assistance to the Scottish Ambulance Service, Police Scotland, HM Coastguard, and other emergency organisations.

Presenting members of the team with the prestigious award, The Lord Lieutenant of Wigtown, Aileen Brewis, said: “The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is known as the MBE for voluntary organisations, and I cannot think of a more worthy and inspiring group to receive this honour.

“The Galloway Mountain Rescue Team is an outstanding group of truly dedicated people who freely give their time to save the lives of others, often in dire circumstances, by getting to those hard-to-reach places that can prove inaccessible to the emergency services. During the past 46 years the team has evolved and now has an essential role helping and supporting young people and other groups in our communities with fundraising and training.”

Ken Mackenzie, former Team Leader, said “It is a great honour for the team to receive this award. It is recognition of the hard work, dedication and commitment of all our team members, the understanding and support of their families, and the continued support of local communities over the 46 years of our existence.”

Galloway Mountain Rescue Team was one of 230 diverse charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to be awarded the honour last year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

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

Lord Lieutenant said: “I very much hope that we will see more of our exceptional groups of volunteers from Wigtown area nominated for this award in the future. Any group of three or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years and are making a positive impact in their community and benefitting others are eligible to apply. The nominations for next year’s awards close on September 15.”

Full details on how to nominate groups are available on the website qavs.culture.gov.uk/ or email queensaward@dcms.gov.uk for more information.