Plea for Burns award nominees

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Nominations are now open for one of the world’s most prestigious humanitarian awards, named after Scotland’s national bard.

The Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – launched in 2002 and supported by South Ayrshire Council, EventScotland and VisitScotland – recognises a group or individual who has saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or hands-on charitable work.

Winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas – a sum which signifies the year of the bard’s birth and the coinage then in circulation – as well as a specially-commissioned award handcrafted in Scotland.

The winner of the 2011 award was Linda Norgrove, the Scottish aid worker who died during a US military-led rescue mission to free her from Afghanistani captors.

Nominations, which can be made online at, close on November 4. The winner will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway in January, which will coincide with the 253rd anniversary of the bard’s birth.

Denise Robertson

South Ayrshire Council