Scottish Fire and Rescue Service shortlisted for national charity award

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has been shortlisted as Recruiter of the Year at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2016. Pic: John Devlin.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has been shortlisted as Recruiter of the Year at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2016. Pic: John Devlin.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has been shortlisted as Recruiter of the Year at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards 2016.

The prestigious Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards are back for their fourth year to celebrate, recognise and thank the outstanding supporters who keep the pioneering blood cancer charity moving forward.

In the last seven years, the SFRS has recruited over 7,200 new potential stem cell donors to the Anthony Nolan register by holding over 80 recruitment events This has resulted in 19 stem cell donations to people with blood disorders or blood cancer, for whom a stem cell transplant is their last hope.

The partnership was initiated in 2008 by Ally Boyle, who was an area commander within the fire and rescue service and had been diagnosed with a blood cancer.

Ally was told that he would need a stem cell transplant and made contact with Anthony Nolan. Ally realised that there was a real synergy between the organisations as both exist to save and improve lives and that there was huge potential for the fire and rescue service to support the charity with its lifesaving work. With the support of some hugely enthusiastic colleagues the partnership was developed and formally launched in 2009.

In 2013, when the SFR was formed, the Board, chief officer and senior leadership team were very keen to promote and support further development of the partnership.

It’s main focus is on educating 16-18 year olds about the desperate need for stem cell donors. In addition, the partnership is designed to promote positive and active citizenship through training pupils to be ‘champions’ who then help organise the donor recruitment event and help pass the message to their peer group.

In addition, many members of the SFRS have helped to raise funds for Anthony Nolan and have raised an incredible £43,000 for the charity.

Andy Watt, group manager, who has volunteered for the partnership since its earliest days, is now the chairman of the partnership for the SFRS.

He said: “We, at the SFRS, feel honoured and humbled to be shortlisted as Recruiter of the Year at the Anthony Nolan Supporter Awards.

“The purpose of the SFRS is to save and improve lives and working in partnership with Anthony Nolan has allowed us to do just that. Our events not only offer hope to blood cancer patients but they also teach an important lesson to young adults. We are consistently impressed with the manner in which these young lifesavers and indeed our many volunteers have supported our work and to us every one of them is a hero. We, at the SFRS, are very proud of the partnership and therefore to be nominated for this prestigious award is very special.”

Anthony Nolan uses its register to match potential stem cell donors to blood cancer patients in desperate need of a stem cell transplant. It also carries out vital research to make stem cell transplants more successful, and supports patients through their transplant journey.

Henny Braund, chief executive at Anthony Nolan, said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is an incredible supporter of the charity and we’re delighted that it has been shortlisted for this award.

“Its staff have shown that regardless of the situation they are absolutely determined to save and improve the lives of the people within the communities they protect. Thousands of people support Anthony Nolan and enable us to carry out our lifesaving work. Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has really has gone above and beyond in its commitment to the charity and we’re so grateful for everything that it does.”

Henny added: “This year’s awards will be a fitting occasion to bring all these people together and thank them for helping us to save more lives every day.”

The awards ceremony takes place on November 22 in the House of Commons and winners will be announced at the event. For more information, go to www.anthonynolan.org/awards