Andy McIntosh receives Sir James Gildea Award

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has presented the Sir James Gildea Awards to a local recipient.
Andy McIntosh (centre) receives the Sir James Gildea Award.Andy McIntosh (centre) receives the Sir James Gildea Award.
Andy McIntosh (centre) receives the Sir James Gildea Award.

Named after the founder of SSAFA, the awards were created to recognise volunteers and employees for their exceptional contribution and commitment to SSAFA’s activities and values.

One of the latest recipients to receive the coveted honour is Andy McIntosh, chairman of SSAFA Lanarkshire who served in the Cheshire Regiment.

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Andy – who recently made the news because of an ascent of Ben A’an he is planning in May – is one of the 2021 cadre of recipients for whom the presentation was delayed because of the pandemic.

It was, however, a bitter-sweet occasion for Andy because ,while he took receipt of his award, the event – held at the Moorings Hotel in Motherwell – was also a farewell luncheon for retiring branch chairman David McAllister after 25 years’ service.

Of his award, Andy said: “I was so shocked to be honoured with a local Sir James Gildea Award because SSAFA means so much to me – I was once a beneficiary and without SSAFA’s help, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Andy, who was SSAFA Lanarkshire’s branch secretary for five years before taking on the chairman role, added: “It feels surreal to think what a dark place I was in 10 years ago to where I am now.

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“We don’t volunteer for recognition; helping fellow veterans is enough for me, but to be awarded the Sir James Gildea award makes it all so worthwhile

“Volunteering at SSAFA is so rewarding; giving back to the Armed Forces community helps me maintain my link with the life that made me into the person I am now.”

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