Humanitarians wanted for Bard’s award

Robert Burns Humanitarian Award

People from across the world whose work, efforts and deeds pay tribute to Robert Burns – STV’s Greatest Scot ever – are being sought as the deadline for nominations for a major humanitarian award draws closer.

The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – launched in 2002 and supported by South Ayrshire Council, EventScotland and VisitScotland – recognises a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or 'hands on' charitable work.

The current recipient of the award is Linda Norgrove, the Scottish aid worker who was killed in October 2010 during a US military-led rescue mission to free her from Aghanistani captors and who had worked closely with indigenous local communities in Afghanistan to implement initiatives such environmentally sustainable development, rural enterprise, infrastructure and agricultural improvement.

Robert Burns Humanitarian Award winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland.

Nominees will not only follow in Linda’s footsteps, but also the likes of UNICEF ambassador and actor Ewan McGregor and Bollywood actress and political activist Shabana Azmi who both hold the honour of being RBHA nominees.

Previous recipients of the award include Habib Malik, Scotland Manager of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and a member Islamic Relief (2010); and Guy Willoughby, Founder and CEO of the HALO Trust (2009), who recently welcomed Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie to the trust’s headquarters in Dumfries while husband Brad Pitt was filming in Scotland.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland, added: “The Burns Humanitarian Award is a wonderful celebration of individuals who do a tremendous amount of work in the community and often go unrecognised. EventScotland is delighted to be part of this celebration of their achievements”

Nominations for the 2012 Robert Burns Humanitarian Award can be made online at until Friday 4 November 2011.

The winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway in January, which will coincide with the 253rd anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.

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