THE best and most committed from the Wee County’s many charities and voluntary groups were recognised at an awards ceremony this month.

Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface (CTSi) held its Volunteer Awards ceremony at Alloa Town Hall on Friday, June 1, with more than 200 guests attending to see the winners from across 10 categories.

Opening the ceremony was Clackmannanshire’s Lord Lieutenant Johnny Stewart while entertainment was provided by ClaxFactor winners Triple T and Hillfoots Music for Youth’s Traditional and Concert bands.

The Long Service Award went to Nancy Pollock, a founding member of Sauchie Community Group who has been working away at the organisation for 26 years and shows no signs of slowing down despite turning 81 this year.

Her award was dedicated to local volunteer Alison Fox, who tragically passed away on March 1 while out walking in the hills she loved so much during severe weather.

Alison was involved in many volunteering projects and the local Volunteer Managers’ Forum felt that this year’s award should reflect her commitment and infectious enthusiasm.

James Dawson, of the Forth Valley Recovery Community, won the Health and Wellbeing Award.

Newcomer of the Year went to Audrey McBride of The Gate, while Grace Millet from Tullibody Healthy Living was Sandy’s Choice.

Another one for The Gate, 12-year-old Lily Christie won Young Volunteer of the Year, having been involved with fundraising since the age of just six.

Bringing her skills and prior experience of working with refugees to the area, Susan Mitchell was involved with Forth Valley Welcome since its inception and earned the Trustee of the Year award.

The group behind the Butterfly Garden in Clackmannan transformed and overgrown derelict space into a place everyone can enjoy and earned the Community Impact Award.

And Clackmannan celebrated twice as Bargains and Bites won Most Enterprising Organisation.

In addition to all being carers themselves, Friends of Clackmannanshire Carers raise thousands of pounds for the local carers centre and won the Fundraising Group of the Year award.

The Ochils Mountain Rescue Team, who are on call 24/7 to provide specialist help to people getting into difficulty in the hills, were deserving winners of the Outstanding Team of the Year award.

The ceremony took place as Volunteers’ Week started with the tagline Volunteering for All, giving CTSi the chance to highlight local opportunities.

Anthea Coulter, CTSi business manager, said: “It has been fantastic to see so many organisations and volunteers celebrated this year, with volunteers spanning from young people achieving their Saltire Awards, to older volunteers who have been with their organisation [for] 26 years."