Double award for wellbeing champion Des

Platinum Champion Des Macmillan at The Oval, London

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Argyll Wellbeing Hub founder Des Macmillan has been awarded a royal award in recognition of his voluntary work.

Des went to London to collect his special Platinum Champion Award. He was one of 28 recipients in Scotland and 490 UK-wide.

He received a specially-designed pin and a certificate signed by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in celebration of the Queen’s 70-year reign. The awards were organised by the Royal Voluntary Service, of which the duchess is president.

Lorraine King from Argyll Wellbeing Hub nominated Des Macmillan for recognition his dedication to the charity.
Volunteer Helen Pearson was named Argyll and Bute TSI’s Lorn area volunteer of the year.
Robert MacInnes – Young Volunteer of the Year at the Argyll and Bute TSI awards with Hope Kitchen’s service manager Catriona Petit.
Argyll and Bute’s Third Sector Interface awards night recognising volunteers.

Argyll Wellbeing Hub, founded by Des, based in Breadalbane Street, Oban, is a peer to peer support group helping people when they are struggling with mental health or feeling down, sad or lonely.

Earlier this month the title Volunteer of the Year also went to Des at Argyll and Bute’s Third Sector Interface (TSI) awards.

Des was nominated by Argyll Wellbeing Hub co-worker Lorraine King for his work at the charity he founded and for volunteering for many years in the field of mental health.

He has also been a volunteer community champion for SeeMe Scotland for a number of years. He was also a telephone befriender through the Caring For People response in Argyll and Bute, gives up four hours a week to SHOUT, a crisis emergency text messaging service, and is a registered trainer for Public Health Scotland. In 2019, he trained more than 200 people in suicide intervention skills.

And Des is also part of a motorcycle group in Scotland travelling all over Scotland making donations to charities, helping with community projects and visiting children in hospital with Christmas and Easter gifts.

Des said: ‘It’s been unbelievable these two awards came at once. I felt completely overwhelmed  to have been recognised this way. It’s not what I volunteer for.’

He met The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at the Platinum Champions celebration at The Oval and got VIP seats close to the Royals at the star-studded Buckingham Palace concert.

TSI awards also went to Oban’s Robert MacInnes – Young Volunteer of the Year; June Bleazard – Health and Wellbeing Volunteer; Helen Pearson – Oban and Lorn Volunteer of the Year and Sandy Brunton from Mull – Lifetime Achievement Award.

Robert was nominated by Hope Kitchen’s Catriona Petit and is at the heart of Oban’s volunteering community. He has volunteered for the charity for five years, since the age of 16, and helps out in the Green Shoots Garden at Glencruitten in all weathers as well as volunteering at Mary’s Meals.

Catriona said: ‘Robert is very enthusiastic. He will help others get involved and is a great ambassador for our service.’

Helen Pearson was also nominated by Catriona Petit for being an inspiration to so many people in Oban. She has been volunteering with Hope Kitchen since October 2020 and has been the driving force behind their new Wellbeing group. Helen is also a trustee a volunteer with mental health charity Oban Link Club.

Health and Wellbeing Volunteer of the Year June Bleazard was praised at the awards ceremony for her ‘amazing amount of stamina and compassion for people’. She has been volunteering at Green Shoots garden for the last six years and has done a power of work in the garden as well as supporting some less able volunteers.

June is also secretary of the garden’s advisory group, plays a key role in Adventure Oban, helping people to access the outdoors, co-ordinates the kayak club and volunteers at Parkrun. She is involved with the Cardiovascular Society, raises money for pancreatic cancer research and is on the committee of Scottish Dancing.

TSI’s lifetime achievement award winner Sandy Brunton has been volunteering with services, charities and statutory bodies, including Her Majesty’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency as an officer, for 34 years. He is the representative for Area 17 covering the Isle of Arran to Oban and all islands in between and has won recognition for the way he has handled bereavement with the relatives of victims.

He was also a Justice of Peace for the island until they were stood down for logistical reasons and has been a member of Fionnphort Harbour committee since 2003, focusing on fishermen’s safety.

Mull and Iona Pipe band is another of his interests where he has trained many young people and adults, including people with disabilities, for more than 25 years.

One of Sandy’s biggest achievements was establishing a swimming pool for Mull through his volunteering for Mull and Iona Community Enterprise and he helped raise £250,000 for a hall.


Caption: Platinum Champion Des Macmillan at The Oval, London.