Blood Bikes Scotland secured a double at this year's ceremony, with HIV Scotland and the Point and Sandwick Trust amongst the other winners
Charities from across Scotland have been recognised for the life-changing work they have carried out over the past year.
The Scottish Charity Awards 2018 took place in Edinburgh on Thursday night (14 June) – with Blood Bikes Scotland scooping two of the top awards.
The lifesaving charity – which provides a free-of-charge medical courier service to NHS hospitals in Lothian and the Borders – celebrated winning both the Charity of the Year Award and the People’s Choice Award.
“It is fantastic to be recognised by the Scottish Charity Awards for the work we do on behalf of the amazing NHS,” said Blood Bikes chairman John Baxter.
“We’re also so grateful to all those who voted for us in the People’s Choice Award, it really means a lot and we’re a bit overwhelmed. We have a great team of volunteer riders, controllers and fundraisers who commit their time and energy freely and enjoy putting something back into the NHS, which does such a fantastic job.”
Ewan Aitken, chief executive of social care charity Cyrenians, was named Leading Light at the ceremony, which took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
He said: “To win this award is truly humbling. In truth it is really an acknowledgement not of anything I have done but of the dedication and commitment of my extraordinary colleagues at Cyrenians, staff and volunteers – and perhaps even more so the amazing people we journey with who find the courage and the capacity in themselves to leave their tough reality for a new place of hope.”
Fiona Shapcott picked up the Charity Champion award for her work in setting up Kids Love Clothes, an Edinburgh charity which has helped provide clothing items for more than 5,500 children.
HIV Scotland was recognised for its PrEP for Scotland campaign, securing the Cracking Campaign category. The campaign has allowed 20,000 to gain insight and access to a new drug which lower people's risk of acquiring the HIV infection..
The charity’s George Valiotis said: “The PrEP for Scotland campaign shaped a public health solution that has changed people’s lives. The campaign united the full diversity of people affected by HIV, with every level of decision making in Scotland. Working within this outstanding level of cooperation felt like a victory, to have it recognised by this prestigious award is an exceptional achievement for all involved."
The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety’s personal safety courses for the blind and visually impaired was named Pioneering Project. The organisation developed the courses with blind people to combine personal safety advice with practical self-defence skills and counselling techniques.
The Celebrating Communities award went to the Point and Sandwick Trust for its work on the Isle of Lewis and Western Isles, whilst Marie Curie scooped the Demonstrating Digital category for its electronic patient record system.
Robert Nolan, chairman of Deafblind Scotland, was named Terrific Trustee, having completed seven marathons for the charity.
Andrew Burns, convener of awards organisers the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), said: “A huge congratulations to our winners and all of this year’s finalists. Each of the 40 individuals and organisations shortlisted make a huge difference to the communities they work with, and I’m delighted that we have been able to bring the third sector together to both recognise and celebrate their achievements. We received over 13,000 votes for the People’s Choice Award so I would also like to thank all those who contributed to the evening by voting for their favourite charity.”