Comment: They deserve a toast for their service

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THE RELEASE of the New Year’s honours list always shines a light on the unsung heroes of our communities.

This year is no exception with a church beadle and a community choir founder among those to pick up gongs in the Lothians.

Of course with the usual smattering of celebrities and civil servants, it can be easy to forget the important role the Honours List plays in highlighting and rewarding those who have selflessly devoted their time to charity or their communities.

Today’s paper also features two inspirational stories of local heroes.

Lynne McNicoll, who has already received an OBE in recognition of her incredible charity endeavours, talks today about her own cancer battle in an incredible year of highs and lows.

In typical style, she is already planning her next fundraising endeavour.

“I’m 60 at the end of the year so I’ll be looking for a new challenge to mark that. I’m really looking forward to the new year,” she tells us.

Meanwhile, Jamie Ramsay has completed his epic 18,000km solo unsupported marathon from Vancouver to the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires raising money and awareness for three charities CALM (dedicated to preventing male suicide), WaterAid and Macmillan.

Of course there are many other examples in the pages of this newspaper every day of people who are going the extra mile – if not always 18,000km – for others.

Not all of them will make it on to the Honours list, but all of their 
efforts are appreciated nonetheless.

So when you raise a glass to welcome in the New Year tonight, why not take a moment to toast the hidden army of volunteers and fundraisers in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

To them, and to all our readers, we say a very Happy New Year and all the best for 2016.