Each week : Read a new story from The British Citizen Award medalists, who are an inspiration to us all especially in these troublesome times.

Michael Underwood, Vinod Patel, BCAc, Wendy Pretton, Places for People

Vinod is 72 years old and for the past 40 years has been coaching local runners. While some organisation’s appear to favour only ‘good’ runners, Vin felt everyone should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential, so started his own group called ‘Freedom Runners’.

Vin coaches a group of runners of all ages, sizes, nationalities and abilities. The group has just welcomed their youngest member who is pushed up and down in her buggy every Saturday morning by Vin, so her mum can run with the group.  Some of the group run to keep fit and healthy, others to enjoy the social interaction and some take part in races all over the world.  Vin treats everyone the same regardless.

Vin’s coaching is completely free, with total inclusivity. Everyone is welcome and he actively encourages everyone to motivate each other. He encourages all members of the group and also includes friends and family – even Vin’s disabled son attends in his wheelchair, cheering the group on.

 

Kimberley Wyatt, Amy Barbour BCyA, Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers

Despite her self-effacing manner, Amy is known throughout West Lowland Battalion Army Cadet Force by both Cadets and instructors as an inspirational individual and a shining example to all.  Amy lives at home with her mother, younger sister and elder brother whom she is a carer for.

Amy is a 5th year pupil at Wellington School and has gained excellent grade results looking to become a doctor.  She has also completed her Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and is well on her way to getting the gold.  She received this award through over 150 hours of volunteering and more than 700 hours of volunteering at a local care home, where she has developed a special rapport with Armed Forces Veterans.

Amy has been appointed a Young Carers Ambassador for Scotland and has received recognition as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, where she has tabled and raised young carer related motions to raise awareness and drive change.