Link given Queen’s Award

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A voluntary group that provides support to vulnerable people has been honoured with the highest possible award.

Linlithgow Link, which was set up back in 1979 and was the first voluntary group of its kinds in West Lothian, received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this week.

The charity’s members were told the good news back in June, however had to wait until the AGM to be presented the accolade.

Linlithgow Link aims to create a more caring community in the town and it provide this support through social activity to those who are isolated by illness, age or infirmity.

One way Linlithgow Link helps the community is through its car service. A team of 40 volunteers give up their free time to drive people from their homes to hospital appointments and back.

Chairman of the charity John Addy said: “The service is fantastic for people who may have difficulty travelling and gives them a chance at social interaction with the driver.

“The driver picks the person up, drives them to their appointment and waits for them to be seen before taking them home.

“All the volunteers do a fantastic job and help a lot of people across the community.”

Linlithgow Link volunteers also run a Tuesday group in West Port Bield Housing for elderly people where they are entertained and have the opportunity to interact with each other.

In total the charity has around 50 volunteers who are more than happy to give up their time to help those who need it and the commitment has left John staggered. He said: “The staff do not do their work in an effort to win awards, they do it simply to help people.”

Linlithgow Link received the award from Lord Lieutenant Isobel Brydie this week.

John said: “The award is a tribute to the time and dedication given by all our volunteers who provide unpaid support to all our services.

“We have an amazing team of people who get up out of their beds every morning prepared to help others who need it.

“They do not do it for the acclaim or medals but it is always nice to be recognised.”

John said the future of Linlithgow Link is to continue to offer its vital services to those in the town that need it most.