Two Fife organisations are celebrating after being awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
The International Fire and Rescue Association (IFRA) and Breathe Easy Fife are among 24 Scottish groups to be granted the highest award given to volunteer organisations in recognition of exceptional service within their communities.
Both charities said they were absolutely delighted to have been recognised.
Davie Kay from IFRA hailed the honour as fantastic and added: “We’re the first and only international fire service charity ever to be granted it.”
The Dunfermline-based charity has been providing life-saving skills and equipment to areas that rely on volunteers to provide a fire service since 2001.
It has worked in 21 countries, delivering 66 training missions, 53 containers of equipment and 95 vehicles and is in the process of organising the delivery of a fire appliance to Albania,
“Fire brigades in this country that no longer have a need for equipment donate it to a country where it will get another couple of decades of service,” said Davie.
“We have 350 members in the UK and this award is a massive honour for us.”
Agnes Whyte from Breathe Easy Fife, said she was excited to break the good news to fellow volunteers on Sunday.
The organisation offers support, information and social activities for people with lung conditions and their carers, and has groups in Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and St Andrews.
Agnes, who was made an MBE last year for her role in the organisation, said: “We’re trying our best to let people know about the support that’s available.
“I’m thrilled because the Queen’s Award is for the volunteers who run the organisation and who have put in a lot of hard work.”
The recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service are announced every year on June 2, the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.
Chairman of the awards’ independent committee, St Martyn Lewis, said there had been a record number of nominations this year.
“It is a real pleasure to congratulate 281 winners across the UK, all with strong reputations for successfully tackling a wide variety of issues and problems in their communities,” he said.
“They are powerful examples of real democracy in action.”