ALVA ACADEMY has received a special award from Macmillan for its spectacular fundraising efforts over the years.

The recent 2017 coffee morning event, as well as all the fundraising activities in the lead up, have netted £41,039 for the cancer support charity this year alone and, as the Advertiser revealed last month, the running total is now more than a quarter million pounds.

That places the school, from the smallest mainland council in Scotland, on the top of the table of donors to the charity – underlining the Wee County's unrivalled generosity.

Central to their altruistic activities is a drive to develop pupils' skills; to teach them about good citizenship, and create a sense of community and togetherness in the school and wider community.

Teacher David Clifford is one of the staff on the fundraising committee which supports the youngsters in their efforts each year, alongside wife Kirsty and Shiona Finn.

He added that the cash generated is essentially a by-product of that initiative.

Mr Clifford told the Advertiser: "The coffee morning itself saw us take over £8000. It was a wonderful day and a culmination of so much hard work, dedication, commitment, laughter and tears.

"The three of us (on the fundraising committee) were presented with a beautiful award from Macmillan on behalf of the school for raising over £250,000 which was a lovely surprise.

"It will take pride of place in our new display cabinets at the front of the school."

Following the coffee morning itself, fundraisers also attended a duck race in Tillicoultry with some ending up waist deep in the river.

Mr Clifford previously explained how some pupils become so involved they return later in life to help the annual effort.

This year, former student and rugby internationalist Adam Ashe arranged for a signed British and Irish Lions strip to be auctioned alongside a Scottish strip – signed by himself as well as Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell.

Wrapping things up, a celebration and evaluation assembly was also held for all the S6 pupils, who take the lead organising the fundraisers each year, as well as for youngsters from other classes who had gone above and beyond.

Mr Clifford added: "We shared photos, stories and were proud to explain just what the money we have raised could pay for."

And continued: "This really hit home to all just how much of a phenomenal achievement it is."