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'Outstanding' Buckie BBs honoured with Queen's Award for Voluntary Service


By Alan Beresford

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THE Queen's platinum jubilee will have very special memories for 1st Buckie Company Boys' Brigade as they celebrate winning the monarch's top award for voluntary work.

1st Buckie Company Boys' Brigade Captain Alan McIntosh (second left) is joined by fellow officers Gordon Pirie (left), Jennifer McIntosh and Grant Stewart in celebrating the group's Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
1st Buckie Company Boys' Brigade Captain Alan McIntosh (second left) is joined by fellow officers Gordon Pirie (left), Jennifer McIntosh and Grant Stewart in celebrating the group's Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

The hard work of all those in the company who have dedicated their time to helping the wider community has seen them awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Their work in the community and supporting others has included litter picks, collections for local food banks and stewarding at community events.

1st Buckie Company is currently one of the largest in the UK, with around 200 boys and officers.

One of those delighted with the news of the award was Company Captain Alan McIntosh.

He said: "It has been a great honour and privilege for the 1st Buckie Company Boys' Brigade to be awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

"The award is for the company's outstanding work done in the communities of Buckie and the surrounding area and is a matter of great pride for the whole company.

"For the award to coincide with the Queen's platinum jubilee and our own 75th anniversary makes it even more special.

"Our thanks go to the boys, the staff, the parents/carers, the local community, our sponsors and our church, Buckie South and West. Without their support we would have never reached this far.

"The award is an excellent advert for both Boys' Brigade and our local community."

A stringent assessment and inspection process had to be successfully negotiated by the company in order to be in with a chance to having the Queen's Award bestowed on them.

Captain McIntosh said: "To start the process off you need a proposer and two referees.

"James Allan, the Captain of 4th Lossiemouth Company, was our proposer while Clare Russell, at that time the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, and Moray MP Douglas Ross were our referees. Andy Simpson, the current Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, pulled it all together.

"It's quite a demanding process, and involves an inspection of the company and an assessment interview."

Alma Blackhall and Mary Stephen, who are church visitors to the company, were keen to sing the praises of all involved with the local BBs.

Mrs Blackhall commented: "It's great to be part of this, we're all like one big family here.

"There's a great deal of commitment and strong, strong leadership in the company.

"We've always been made very welcome any time we pop in. As the company's parent church we were delighted to give them our full backing for the Queen's Award."

Mrs Stephen added: "The boys are all so well behaved and committed.

"This award is very well deserved for all the hard work of everyone at the company."

Mr Simpson described the company's award as an "amazing achievement".

"I am delighted to congratulate all the members and leaders of the 1st Buckie Company Boys’ Brigade on achieving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service," he continued.

"This is an amazing achievement and reflects the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of many people over the 75 years of the company.

"Members clearly not only enjoy their involvement in the company, but also gain many personal skills that equip them for life. The support of families and the community is a key part of their success and thanks are due to all who help or work with the company.

"Congratulations and very well done to Captain Alan McIntosh, DL BEM, and everyone associated with the group on this outstanding success."

Mrs Russell said: "I am so delighted that the Buckie Boys' Brigade have won the most prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service.

"They are an amazing organisation and they have gone from strength to strength under the leadership of their Captain Alan McIntosh .

"As Lord -Lieutenant of Banffshire for 17 years they helped me with three large charitable events. The most important of all was the birthday tea party for all 90+ year olds in Banffshire, held in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday, when they helped organise over 300 people and their Bugle Band played during the arrival of the guests.

"They also helped me in the organisation of a huge open day for everyone in Banffshire to enjoy the Queen's diamond jubilee.

"On my retirement they helped organise my musical garden party and their wonderful band played throughout.

"The 1st Buckie Company Boys' Brigade are one of the most deserving charities and should be recognised with this honour. Mr and Mrs McIntosh and their wonderful helpers give so much to the children and young of Banffshire teaching them kindness, manners, first aid, car maintenance, discipline, seamanship, helping in the community and so much more. They are a Christian organisation and couldn’t be more deserving of this honour."

1st Buckie Company Boys' Brigade is one of 244 local charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The award, which is the highest of its kinds for volunteering in the UK, seeks to highlight all the ways in which fantastic volunteers are contributing to their local communities and working to make life better for those around them.

Mr Ross praised the company's ongoing commitment to serving the wider community.

He continued: “I was delighted to support the nomination of the 1st Buckie Company Boys' Brigade for the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service as a result of the great work they do within the community.

“This company has a very strong commitment from within the local community, which in turn makes them a great force for good, being well established and known for their endeavours, selfless service and devotion to duty.

“One of the projects highlighted was community weeding project whereby they tidied up flower beds making them look smart for the season ahead. When the company are not undertaking this type of role they can be seen at the forefront of community support projects helping those less able, preventing social isolation by including many in their quiz competitions or giving them opportunities with their lucky squares initiative.

"Perhaps most impressive is the Brigade band who play at many community events, bringing a smile to those who hear their music.

"This award is a well-deserved recognition for a very impressive Boys' Brigade company and I congratulate everyone associated with 1st Buckie for what they have achieved."

The company will be formally presented with their award at a date to be confirmed later this year.


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