Award for Linlithgow Folk Festival organisers

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VOLUNTEERS from Linlithgow Folk Festival have been recognised for their hard work in the field of community arts.

They were amongst the groups recognised at the Voluntary Sector Gateway West Lothian annual awards ceremony at the Hilcroft Hotel in Whitburn on Wednesday of last week.

Judges Kenny Murphy (Falkirk CVS), Gordon Allan (Unity Bank) and Councillor Isabel Hutton considered the nominations and selected the winners in each category. Jim Gallacher, Gateway chief executive, said: “The independent judging panel had a difficult time making their final choices because, in effect, everyone’s a winner and deserving of praise and recognition.”

Sir Tom Farmer, honoured guest at the event, commented: “The work of the volunteers and voluntary organisations in West Lothian is an example to all as to what can be achieved when people work together for the benefit of others.”

‘‘We are delighted that Linlithgow Folk Festival Association won the award for the Community Arts Volunteers of the Year at the Voluntary Sector Gateway (West Lothian) Volunteer Awards 2011 though realise we will now need to put on an even better Linlithgow Folk Festival in 2012!’’ said festival chairman Murdoch Kennedy.

The festival is up for a huge award this weekend at the MG Alba Trad Music Awards where it has been nominated in Best Event of the Year category.

The full awards list is as follows: Volunteer of the Year – Frank Reekie; Young Volunteer of the Year, Jamie Brechin; Volunteers Manager of the Year, Agnes McKenna; Active Citizenship Award, – Youth for Lourdes Group at St Margaret’s Academy; Sports Volunteers of the Year, No Limits Sports Club; Community Arts Volunteers, Linlithgow Folk Festival Association; Board Member of the Year Andrew Blyth; Voluntary/Community Group of the Year, Citizens Advice Bureau West Lothian; Employer Supported Volunteers, a group of staff from BCF Technology; Social Enterprise of the Year, Kidzeco.

Highly commended volunteers in each category and young award winners were also acknowledged and Kathleen Ross-Hale and Margaret Johnstone each received lifetime achievement awards for their years of contribution to various charitable projects throughout West Lothian. In addition, judges discretion/ special awards were given to Michael Shanks and Jemma Boyle.