A FORMER moderator of the Church of Scotland who has organised a major commemoration of the Srebrenica massacre has been honoured by the Prime Minister.
David Cameron presented the Very Reverend Dr Lorna Hood with a Points of Light award for her efforts to ensure lessons are learned from the atrocity, which saw the killing of about 8000 Muslims in Bosnia 20 years ago.
Dr Hood has organised the first large-scale national commemoration in Scotland, which is taking place this week in Edinburgh with speakers including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
She has also set up and chaired the Scotland Board of the charity Remembering Srebrenica, after hearing from the mothers of some of the victims.
Mr Cameron said: “It is vital that we continue to learn the lessons of the horrific events in Srebrenica.
“Dr Hood’s work to set up the Scotland Board of Remembering Srebrenica has ensured that the charity’s messages of tolerance and tackling hatred are spread across the nation and across different faiths.
“As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre I am pleased to be able to recognise Dr Hood’s work to lead the commemoration in Scotland with this Points of Light award.”
The honour recognises outstanding volunteers for efforts in their communities.
Dr Hood said she was “honoured and privileged” to receive it, adding: “Any time and effort to ensure that such an atrocity never happens again is a small price in comparison.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “This is a richly-deserved award and it is right we honour the good work carried out by the Very Reverend Dr Lorna Hood as we mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre at Srebrenica.
“We must never forget the horror and inhumanity of what happened there, but it is also important to bring people together so we can work with one another to promote understanding, learn the lessons of history and help ensure events like these are not repeated, which is what Lorna’s work strives to do.
“She has led from the front and is a credit not just to the Church of Scotland, but to the nation as a whole.”
Dr Hood is the 283rd winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the US and was first established by President George W Bush.
More than 5000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country. Most recently an award was presented to east Lothian couple Laura and John Young, from Gullane, who established The Teapot Trust in 2010 to help provide art therapy in hospitals.