A SCOUT leader from the Wee County was honoured to represent Clackmannanshire during a prestigious royal event in Edinburgh this month.

Andrew Macnamara, group lead volunteer for 2nd Dollar Scout Group, was privileged to attend the Royal Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse on Tuesday last week, July 2.

Heading along with wife Rachel, Andrew was invited after being nominated as one of the Scout leaders from the district and was attending on behalf of Clackmannanshire Scouts to represent all those involved in the Wee County.

There was a real buzz at the event with thousands in attendance as a crowd gathered on the lawn at the official Scottish residence of their majesties.

It was a special opportunity for Andrew and others as the king recently announced he would take over as the patron of Scout associations across the UK and indeed, the first three people he spoke to on the day were all Scout volunteers.

Andrew, who has been volunteering with the organisation for some seven years, was also lucky to bump into a few familiar faces such as Paddy Leavey, a former Beaver leader in Dollar, and Graham Balance, whose father Andy was a former group leader.

Attending meant a great deal to Andrew, who said it was a recognition not just for him but all those who offer their time and energy to run groups across the Wee County.

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He said: “It was a lovely day full of people who do amazing things in their different fields, whether that’s charitable fields, youth organisations or serving in public life.

“It was really nice to get a bit of recognition and thanks.

“I was the only representative there from Clackmannanshire Scouts but there are seven Scout groups still operating strongly in Clackmannanshire and I’d like to say I was representing all the volunteers that step up and do their bit each week and help run all these great events we do for the Squirrels, the Beavers, the Cubs, the Scouts and the Explorers.”

While there are always ups and downs, Andrew reckons the groups are popular with young people in the area, indeed in many places such as Dollar there are waiting lists.

More volunteers are always needed to help support the work and it is hoped this has recently become easier with the Scouts than before.

Andrew explained that up until recently volunteering with the groups has been very formal with a serious time commitment, however, changes have been made.

He added: “The whole idea is we are making volunteering a bit easier for everybody and we’ll take volunteers in any shape or form that they come in, no matter what their skillset is, if they are willing to give it a go, we’ll learn by doing."

Those interested in supporting the work can visit: clacksscouts.org.uk for more information.