Erskine charity worker honoured

Isobel Kirkwood with Lord Lieutenant Guy Clarke being presented with her BEM medal
Isobel Kirkwood with Lord Lieutenant Guy Clarke being presented with her BEM medal

Much loved Erskine volunteer Isobel Kirkwood has been honored with the British Empire Medal for her services to veterans in Scotland at The Erskine Home in Bishopton.

The medal was awarded in the New Year’s Honours list by Her Majesty The Queen for a sustained, local contribution to charity. Isobel was presented with the medal on behalf of Her Majesty, by the Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Guy Clark.

Isobel, who lives in Newton Mearns, Glasgow, was insistent on being presented with the medal at The Erskine Home where her heart lies.

She was surrounded by family, friends and Erskine staff including Erskine’s Chairman Andrew Robertson. East Renfrewshire’s Provost Alastair Carmichael was also present.

Isobel’s connection with the veterans’ charity began in 1995 when her husband Robert, a Spitfire pilot, moved into Erskine Hospital which was then in Mar Hall. When Erskine started a fundraising campaign in the 90’s to build the current home, it was then that Isobel felt she could do something to help. Subsequently, and for quarter of a century, 96-year-old Isobel has volunteered with Erskine.

Isobel and her trusty King Charles Spaniel Rusty are familiar faces to many.

“Being awarded the British Empire Medal was a great and unexpected honour,” said Isobel. “My feelings for Erskine are difficult to put into words. The fundraisers always thank me for helping them but they have no idea how much they have helped me. I have had a long retirement, outlived my husband and many of my friends, and Erskine has provided me with a new and varied career, a reason to get out of bed in the morning and a chance to be with young company. I have so many toy boys at Erskine which Robert would be delighted about.”