Firefighter Scott recognised for “outstanding” fundraising effort
13 February 2013
A Glasgow Airport employee who gives up a staggering 1,500 hours of his time every year to support a charity scooped the top prize in the company’s volunteering and fundraising awards.
Firefighter Scott Robertson was given the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Community’ award for his dedication to the Ayrshire branch of Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, which brings youngsters aged 10 to 14 in the areas of Belarus and Ukraine worst affected by the 1986 nuclear disaster to live with families in Ayrshire for a month.
Scott, from Irvine, and his family – wife Rosalind and daughters Briar and Beth – have hosted two children on three occasions now, but the drive to raise funds and awareness continues all year round.
Scott’s success in the airport’s annual iVolunteer competition means £2,500 has flown into the charity’s coffers and the 40-year-old said: “This is a massive boost for the charity as the fundraising effort never really stops, and neither does the hunt for clothes that people have finished with. It’s up to the host families to kit them out as they arrive with only the clothes they are wearing.”
The visits take place twice a year and the children receive free check-ups and treatment if necessary from local dentists and opticians. They are at a critical stage in their development and the physical and mental benefits of the visit are huge.
Tests have proven that eating and drinking non-contaminated food and drink, and breathing clean air, can add up to two years to their life expectancy and strengthen their immune systems against the constant bombardment of radiation.
Scott, who has been in Glasgow Airport’s fire service for more than 10 years, added: “Some of these children have never seen a shower or an inside toilet. The health benefits of the visit for them are tremendous. It’s a nice thing to be involved in, a good way to give something back.
“It shows my own children how lucky they really are, and they really enjoy the visits too. We got a lovely card from the parents of one of the children we hosted thanking us and that sort of thing makes it all worthwhile.”
Michael Lafferty, Chairman of the Ayrshire Link of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, said: “We have to raise the money that is required to bring the children for this once in a lifetime visit to Ayrshire. It costs about £500 per child so this community award that Scott won on behalf of the charity will help make a difference in the lives of five children.
“It is fantastic that Scott’s employers recognise and appreciate the voluntary work their employees do. So on behalf of the children I would like to thank Scott and Glasgow Airport."
The Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline is always looking for new supporters, host families and support families.
To find out more visit the charity’s website at www.ccll.org.uk/ayrshire