Trio rewarded for services to charity

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A TRIO of volunteers who have dedicated 30 years to supporting the National Trust for Scotland have received special awards from the charity.

Norman Browning, who works at the Georgian House in Charlotte Square, and Grant Donaldson and Lesley Gray, who both give their time to Gladstone’s Land at the Royal Mile, each received a prestigious Chairman’s Award at the trust’s annual Volunteer of the Year ceremony.

Retired teacher Mr Browning, 83, began volunteering at the Georgian House in the early 1980s and has since helped thousands of visitors flocking to the attraction every year to learn more about life in a grand Scottish residence.

Currently living in Silverknowes, colleagues consider Mr Browning to be a highly valued and greatly respected guide at the Georgian House, who has acquired an in-depth knowledge of its content over many years of personal study.

Mr Donaldson and Ms Gray both assist at the historic Gladstone’s Land tenement, having both been involved with the National Trust for Scotland for almost three decades.

Their “unfailing commitment, warmth and enthusiasm” over this time has been commended by the trust.

Mr Donaldson, 53, lives in Corstorphine and began volunteering with his mother. He is known for his assistance with conservation work on the property’s valuable contents and is a room and costume guide.

Ms Gray, 81, is from Morningside and has completed a substantial amount of research into the history of Gladstone’s Land.

She has produced many in-depth information booklets for visitors to the location.

The volunteers received these special awards from National Trust for Scotland chairman Sir Kenneth Calman, in recognition of their significant contribution and long service to the charity.

The trust has more than 3800 volunteers playing a critical role keeping Scotland’s heritage alive at properties and offices all over the nation.

Sir Kenneth praised the devotion of the award-winners. “The contribution that our volunteers make to the trust and to Scotland’s heritage is outstanding,” he said.

“It is a privilege to meet our volunteers of the year and thank them personally for the many, many hours of time and talent they have given us over the years.”

In addition, a group of dedicated volunteers who run the Georgian House’s education committee were also recognised, as was Edinburgh-based Kenny Leiper, who has been volunteering as a Thistle Camp leader with the trust for six years.

Mr Leiper took the award for the Outdoor Conservation category but was unable to attend the ceremony last week.