Royal recognition for volunteer Alison

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An East Renfrewshire stalwart has received an OBE for decades of dedicated community service.

Alison Gilchrist, originally from Pollokshields and now living in Newton Mearns, was awarded the accolade earlier this month by Prince Charles.

She was joined for the special occasion by her husband Robert, son (also) Robert and daughter Sylvia (all 

A deputy lieutenant for 15 years, Mrs Gilchrist is also the current president of East Renfrewshire Girl Guiding.

The honour was awarded for services to business, community and girl guiding, as well as further recognising the activist’s voluntary work in the health field.

On receiving the OBE, she said: “It really was a memorable occasion — a fantastic day.”

Alison appeared in The Extra last January after making the honours list, and attributed an early interest in volunteering to her mother, who regularly visited the Samaritan Hospital in Glasgow.

She explained: “When I reached my 20s she said to me; I can’t do it, so you must do it in my place. I went as a visitor and then I became chairman.

“I would recommend volunteering to anyone considering it.

“You meet so many interesting people who are willing to work for nothing, just to help their fellow 

Mrs Gilchrist added: “I was thrilled and delighted when I heard, but this was followed by the knowledge that there are so many people in the community doing exactly the same thing.

“They are equally deserving so I would encourage residents to nominate someone for recognition.”

Anyone interested in nominating someone for royal recognition can do so by contacting the lieutenancy office, represented in Renfrewshire by lord lieutenant Guy Clark.

To find out more, contact clerk Linda Hutchison on 577 8388 or visit .