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Two Oban charities have been given a helping hand as a result of this year’s
Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards.
In the past 31 years the event, held annually in Inverness, has raised more than £100,000 for charity.
Every year, the winner of the overall Diageo Journalist of the Year award receives £300 to give to a charity of their choice.
But when freelance journalist Moira Kerr brought home the 2019 winner’s trophy to Oban, she was faced with a dilemma.
Moira said: ‘There are so many good causes out there that I couldn’t decide who to donate the money to, so I turned to social media to ask the people of Oban what they thought.
‘There were lots of suggestions but the clear favourite was Martyn’s Monday Club, a peer to peer group which meets every Monday night at Hope Kitchen, Oban, to encourage people to talk about mental health problems they, or their family or friends, may be experiencing and to let them know they are not alone.
‘This new group has already expanded to run the same thing for women on a Tuesday night.
‘Hope Kitchen, which opens its doors to the homeless, the lonely and to everyone in need, providing food and friendship for all, was another popular suggestion. I ended up being torn between these two good causes, so I split the money between them.’
This is the second time Moira has won the Journalist of the Year trophy. When she won it in 2016, her £300 charity cash prize was donated to Oban RNLI lifeboat.