The selfless actions of a Fife man, who has supported his local community over the past decade, have been recognised with a prestigious national award.
Dennis Gowans from Crail is one of 27 citizens across the UK to be awarded the coveted British Citizen Award which recognises exceptional people who have had a positive impact on their communities.
Dennis, who can regularly be found painting or repairing community equipment and benches, participating in the teams that mow the community-run putting green, delivering community newsletters or driving elderly residents to medical appointments, has been honoured for services to volunteering and charitable giving.
In addition, Dennis led fundraising efforts for community consultation, community hall business plan development and purchase, and more recently Crowdfunding efforts that helped the community raise funds to purchase three tracts of land for environmental improvement from Fife Council – raising over £100,000 in total.
He also volunteers for various groups currently holding the position of chairman of Crail Preservation Society and secretary of Crail Community Partnership.
Sadly, due to the ongoing coronavirus a presentation ceremony at The Palace of Westminster was unable to take place so Dennis and the other 26 medalists received their awards by post together with video messages of congratulations and an invitation to the House of Lords at a date once restrictions have been lifted.
Commenting on the award, Dennis said the recognition was for the efforts of the whole of the Crail community.
“The first I knew about it was when I received an email about the medal which I instantly thought was a spam message, that was until my wife owned up to knowing about it all along,” Dennis explained.
“I’m a little uncomfortable being singled out for praise and would want to see the award as recognition for the wonderful community spirit that we have in here in Crail.
“We have a very committed community working hard to improve and enhance the village and the award is really for everyone involved in that.”
East Neuk and Landward Councillor, Linda Holt, paid tribute to Dennis, she said: “It is an exceptionally well-deserved award for an exceptionally modest man.
“Dennis has worked tirelessly for Crail for years and the great strides the community is making in the wake of its charrette are in no small measure down to him.”
Dubbed the People’s Honours, each Medal bears the words ‘For the Good of the Country’ and are presented to only a small number of individuals twice annually.