VOSCARS celebration

TOP AWARD . . . Claire Cairney was named Volunteer of the Year.
TOP AWARD . . . Claire Cairney was named Volunteer of the Year.
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THOSE who give up their free time to help others were celebrated at a unique Hollywood-style awards ceremony recently.

The VOSCARS celebrated the outstanding efforts of local volunteers and voluntary sector organisations, and were held as part of North Lanarkshire’s festivities to mark the European Year of Volunteering 2011.

Around 250 volunteers and members of voluntary sector organisations attended the event hosted by Real Radio’s Steve McKenna at Motherwell’s GLO centre. There was 12 categories at the event with each of the winners receiving a specially-engraved Oscars-style trophy.

Over 200 nominations were received in the run up to the VOSCARS, with an expert judging panel consisting of Francis Fallan, chairman of Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire; Mushtaq Ahmad OBE, Lord Lieutenant for Lanarkshire; Liz Burns, International Association for Volunteer Effort, and representatives of sponsoring organisations selecting four category finalists and winners for each of the 12 categories.

Motherwell woman Claire Cairney took the most prestigious award, EYV2011 Volunteer of the Year for her work with the organisation Healthy Happy Humans.

Started by Claire, Healthy Happy Humans was initially a weight management service and is now an organisation that provides a whole host of activities aimed at keeping families active, healthy and fit.

For full story, see this week’s Times & Speaker, dated Thursday, December 8.