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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Nominate now for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 

This opinion piece is 10 months old

Sponsored content: honour is bestowed annually on a group or individual who shows selflessness and dedication in a bid to save, enrich or improve the lives of others

The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award (RBHA), supported by South Ayrshire Council and Destination South Ayrshire, recognises courage, commitment, inspiration and hands-on humanitarian efforts from people of any nationality, race, age or gender. 

This is a globally-respected honour bestowed annually on a group or individual who shows selflessness and dedication in a bid to save, enrich or improve the lives of others through the protection and promotion of human rights and work to deliver social reform. 

Named in honour of Scotland’s son, Robert Burns, this much sought after humanitarian award applauds the efforts of people who bring hope and inspiration, often in desperate situations, and help change lives for the better. 

We are looking for nominations for those who have saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or direct humanitarian work.  It doesn’t have to be someone you know; it could be someone you’ve read about, someone you’ve seen on TV, or someone you’ve long admired. 

Our current winner, Dr Renuka Ramakrishnan (pictured) is a consultant dermatologist and cosmetologist who has specialised in the treatment of Hansen’s disease (leprosy) for the past 30 years.  As well as a doctor, she acts as counsellor, mentor, motivational speaker and educator.  She also campaigns to raise awareness of breast cancer and crimes against women, children and the transgender community. 

The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award winner receives the equivalent of 1759 guineas – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard’s birth and the coinage in circulation at the time – equating to £1,800 in today’s currency.  

South Ayrshire Council’s director of strategic change and communities, Jane Bradley, said: “The RBHA is highly respected, and we always receive nominations from across the globe. This award celebrates those unsung heroes that put others first day in day out but perhaps don’t receive the recognition they deserve. 

"So, if you know someone who goes above and beyond why not nominate them today and give them their opportunity to shine.” 

Nominations for the RBHA 2024 can be made online at Robert Burns Humanitarian Award - South Ayrshire Council ( until 4pm on Friday 6th October 2023.  The 2024 RBHA winner will be announced on Thursday 25th January 2024.