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Two Western Isles voluntary organisations, Long Term Conditions Hebrides (LTCH), and SHARE in Daliburgh, South Uist, are taking delivery of the King’s Award for Voluntary Service, as originally announced late last year.

The two charities are amongst just 20 in Scotland, and 262 from across the UK, to received the King’s Award, which aims to recognise outstanding work by local volunteer groups to benefit their communities.

It was created as the Queen’s Award in 2002 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee and, following his accession, His Majesty The King emphasised his desire to continue the award.

Lord Lieutenant Iain Macaulay was in Daliburgh this afternoon (Friday 23 February) handing over a bespoke certificate and engraved crystal award to volunteers at SHARE, which operates a thrift shop and café for South Uist.

The Lord Lieutenant said: “SHARE reaches out to older people in the community, some of whom are lonely and isolated.

“It stands out for being a completely volunteer-led organisation that provides services which fill a gap in local service provision.

“It also reduces household expenditure on books and clothes and reduces the community’s carbon footprint.

“Incredibly, SHARE has distributed over £80,000 to other worthy local causes. This is an amazing contribution and all achieved through an extraordinarily successful and well-operated volunteer group, located in a small, rural and island community.”

Last Saturday (17 February) Lord Lieutenant Iain Macaulay was with Comhairle convener Kenny Macleod at a presentation ceremony in Stornoway for Long Term Conditions Hebrides, who were presented with their engraved crystal and certificate.

Receiving the award on behalf of LTCH, chair Adele Wright said: “We feel very privileged and honoured to accept this prestigious award on behalf of Long Term Conditions Hebrides. We are thrilled to have the vital services we offer acknowledged by His Majesty.

“From the Butt to Barra, LTCH provides free daily support to people living with long term conditions. I extend my thanks to our valued voluntary committee members, without whose commitment we could not provide the services we offer.

“Today is a celebration of how far we have come as a local charitable organisation."

Iain Macaulay said: “This year is noteworthy because we are marking the first King’s Awards, following 20 years of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.

“Equivalent to an MBE, the KAVS is the highest award given to local voluntary groups in the UK, and is awarded for life.

“LTCH is one of the 262 voluntary groups from across the UK who received the award, twenty of which are from Scotland. All those involved are to be congratulated on being awarded this prestigious honour.”

The pictures show Long Term Condition Hebrides volunteers and Chair Adele Wright, with Comhairle Convener Kenny MacLeod, Lord-Lieutenant Iain Macaulay and Lieutenancy colleagues at last Saturday’s presentation in Stornoway. Also shown is the King’s Award certificate presented to the group.