Gongs recognise dedication of Scottish volunteers
- Date posted
- 30 November 2023
- Marcus Boocock
- Estimated reading time
- 3 minute read
Four IOSH members in Scotland have received Presidential awards to recognise their dedicated volunteering. Andy McNair, Chair of the North East of Scotland Branch, picked up a President’s Distinguished Service Award (PDSA) while Yvonne Gilfillan, Rachel Hendron and Andy Cathro have been received President’s Commendation Awards (PCAs). The gongs were all presented at the IOSH Scotland Conference, which was held in Dundee on Thursday 9 November.
Having begun his OSH career in 1999, Andy joined the North East of Scotland Branch in 2016. After spells as Secretary and Comms Coordinator, he became Vice-Chair in 2019 and then Chair in 2020.
In addition to this, Andy has been a member of IOSH’s Council and represented the IOSH Scotland at the Scottish Parliamentary Cross Party Working Group and was a representative for the Partnership on Health and Safety in Scotland.
Andy has also mentored more than 20 fellow members through IPD to become Chartered and, between 2018 and 2020, launched the IOSH North East of Scotland Branch school’s engagement programme, which saw the creation of a number of educational videos to support members of the branch.
Away from IOSH volunteering, he led on the response to a major oil and gas pipeline disaster, one of the outputs of which was the creation of a video that is used as a training tool for those working in or around major pipelines. He’s supported numerous health and wellbeing campaigns in the workplace.
Yvonne joined the North East of Scotland Branch in 2017 as Educational Engagement Coordinator and she embarked on a mission to raise the profile of OSH among students. Using her extensive network, she coordinated presentations in numerous schools across the Aberdeen and Grampian regions of Scotland. She has since moved onto the role as Branch Secretary.
Yvonne is also a mentor for young individuals with learning difficulties, championing inclusivity and diversity, and an instrumental role on the cross-party working group for occupational safety and health in Scotland, where she continues to support policy change and advocate for the welfare of individuals across the region.
On receiving her award, she said: “Receiving the award was not only a surprise but one of those ‘what on earth’ moments. I am still genuinely amazed, humbled and very, very grateful for both the nomination and the Commendation Award. The Award has taken pride of place on my display cabinet in the office and I smile each time I see it.”
Rachel is Vice-Chair of the North East of Scotland Branch, having held a number of other roles, and is also Chair of IOSH’s Offshore Group.
Her nomination described her as the “firm foundation of the branch” and highlighted her dedication, including how during the Covid-19 pandemic she supported in delivering weekly online discussions and information sessions for fellow members. It went on to say: “Rachel is an unsung hero and well-respected volunteer throughout Scotland.”
On receiving her award, she said: “It is extremely humbling and a great honour in equal measure to be recognised in this way for my volunteering efforts with IOSH.”
A member of IOSH’s Forth and Tay Branch, including being Secretary for many years, Andy has been influential with the LOcHER (Learning Occupational Health by Experiencing Risk) project in Scotland.
This began with supporting the production of a video on the risks of asbestos, which received an award from Safety Groups UK and acknowledgement in Scottish Parliament, and has continued as the project has spread through the OSH community in Scotland.
Andy has also sat as a representative on the Health and Safety Executive’s Partnership on Health and Safety in Scotland group as part of their Scottish Action Plan.
On receiving his award, he said: “I am very honoured to have been recognised for services to health and safety and especially for the innovative LOcHER projects that I have had the pleasure to have been involved with over the years.”
Last updated: 31 January 2024