23/10/2016
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Exceptional RSPB volunteer receives award for efforts

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The seabird colony at Mull of Galloway RSPB is one of many avian attractions in Dumfries and Galloway. Photo: Rose and Trev Clough (commons.wikimedia.org).
The seabird colony at Mull of Galloway RSPB is one of many avian attractions in Dumfries and Galloway. Photo: Rose and Trev Clough (commons.wikimedia.org).
The RSPB has honoured a Dumfries and Galloway volunteer with an award for his extraordinary contribution to the charity's work.

Seventy-two-year-old Brian Nolan from New Galloway has volunteered for the RSPB since 2006 and has given up hundreds of hours of his time towards fundraising and other activities. He was presented with the RSPB President’s Award for his services at the charity’s AGM in Birmingham.

The prestigious award is given to only six out of 12,000 RSPB volunteers every year, and recognises those who go the extra mile to help raise funds and awareness.

RSPB Scotland’s Chris Rollie said: “I’m absolutely over the moon that Brian has been presented with the President’s Award. It really couldn’t have gone to a more worthy recipient. His fundraising is legendary, and he can often be seen out and about at events dressed up in a giant bird costume or selling his jam. He’s raised over £30,000 through sales of pin badges alone, and is also a valued helper to our staff on reserves and at events in the area.

“Brian is a very special individual, but each and every one of our volunteers is important to the work that we do at the RSPB. Their combined efforts make a huge difference to our conservation work in Dumfries and Galloway and beyond, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all of them.”

Brian, a retired salesman, is a member of the Galloway RSPB local group and regularly organises meetings, as well as fundraising through making jam and running tombolas and raffles. He looks after an amazing 100 RSPB pin badge boxes from Stranraer to Gretna, and often spends up to three days a week liaising with businesses, collecting money and topping up the boxes with more badges.

RSPB pin badges are small metal pins depicting wildlife, which can be acquired through a variety of outlets for a donation of £1. The average number of boxes maintained by one volunteer is usually between five and 10.

Brian said: “I have always loved nature and know that it is under a lot of pressure. I get a kick out of fundraising, so it’s great to be able to help the RSPB in the excellent work they do in nature conservation and spreading the word.”

There are many different volunteering roles available with the RSPB across Scotland and beyond, including fundraising, residential opportunities, wildlife surveys, office-based roles and much more. To find details go to www.rspb.org.uk/volunteering.
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