A Houston veteran has been recognised for his dedication to volunteering in the Scottish Veterans Awards.

Sight Scotland Veterans nominated David Carruthers, 67, in early 2020 for his above-and-beyond volunteering support for veterans with sight loss at the charity’s Hawkhead Centre in Paisley.

After a long delay to the finalists’ ceremony due to the pandemic, David attended the glamorous awards event in Edinburgh this month, where he was awarded the bronze position in the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ category.

David, who served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from 1972 to 1978, said: “I was overwhelmed to be nominated for this award and I was just happy to be involved. I really enjoy giving something back with my volunteering at the Hawkhead Centre.
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The Hawkhead Centre began welcoming veterans back this summer after it had to close in line with the Scottish Government’s pandemic guidelines in March 2020.

And after so long away from the activity hub, David is delighted to finally be able to return to his volunteering duties, supporting veterans with sight loss to get to and from the centre, take part in activities and being a listening ear for so many.

David, who has volunteered at the Hawkhead Centre since it opened in 2017, said:

“I missed the centre very much while it’s been closed through the pandemic. I missed the veterans that attend the centre and the comradeship. It’s great to get back to volunteering there again and back into the swing of things.”

Sight Scotland Veterans’ Volunteer Development Manager, James Whyte, said he was delighted by David’s success at the Scottish Veterans Awards.

James Whyte said: “David has had an enormous impact on so many of the veterans with sight loss who visit the Hawkhead Centre, and this acknowledgement in the awards is well deserved.

“In my experience, and as I repeatedly hear from the veterans we support and other colleagues, nothing is too much trouble for David, and he will turn his hand to whatever is asked of him. This isn’t just getting behind the wheel: he’ll cover reception, offer a listening ear, help members in the workshop, or dish out the gravy in the canteen if that’s what’s needed. All with a happy smile!

“Volunteers at Sight Scotland and Sight Scotland Veterans play a crucial role in our services for blind and partially sighted people and, like David, make a huge difference to the lives of those we support.”

If you would like to learn more about volunteering with Sight Scotland Veterans, visit www.sightscotland.org.uk/volunteer.

Main image: David Carruthers