Mrs Gill MacWhirter, BEM

Mrs Gill MacWhirter, BEM

- 15/09/2015

On 12 September 2015 Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty, invested Mrs Gill MacWhirter with the British Empire Medal, at a meeting of the MS Society.

Mrs Bowen said 'This is an honour that is really well deserved - not only has Gill done 25 years as Secretary to the MS Branch in Ross-shire but she has changed how the whole Branch runs and influenced the Society in Edinburgh to change and improve how Branches are run throughout Scotland. This has produced better care not just for those who live with MS but also for their carers.

Gill is a great communicator. She understands the value of getting together and talking, and has throughout her time encouraged members to share and speak about their experiences, making life easier and helping members to feel less isolated. She has also organised regular meetings for informal chat, offering carers the chance to relax and talk with their peer group who best understand the daily challenges they face.

She also understands the power of the written word and had turned her architectural and artistic skills to good use in designing exemplary newsletters which have disseminated information in a relevant and useful way, as well as in fundraising.

Gill has not been afraid of going to the top to achieve specialist services for MS in the Highlands. Due to her dialogue with NHS Highland she was instrumental in taking members to the Scottish Parliament and had discussions with MSPs which ultimately resulted in the first appointment of a MS specialist nurse in Inverness.

Since Gill took on MS Ross-shire she has increased the membership hugely, not least through social events like today, although today is a little special, enabling members to get out and do fun things.

Gill is a great “can do” person and along with her wonderful smile and sense of fun she is able to persuade others they “can do” things too.

Gill’s Christian faith is fundamental to all she does, and her loyalty to her Church family wherever she has moved has been really important to her. Her contribution and involvement has always

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