Presentation of the BEM to Mr Alastair and Mrs Helen Nicolson

Presentation of the BEM to Mr Alastair and Mrs Helen Nicolson

- 9/1/2017

Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh attended a ceremony in Portree on Friday 18 November to award Mr Alastair and Mrs Helen Nicolson with British Empire Medals.

Before making the award Mrs Bowen said:

Their simple citation for the BEM covers a multitude of dedicated hard work: it is: “ For Services to Cancer Research UK on the Isle of Skye.

For the past 30 years they have volunteered their spare time to Fund Raising for Cancer Research UK.

Mr Nicolson worked at sea with Caledonian MacBrayne while Mrs Nicolson had a full-time career as a primary School Teacher, but that did not stop them . They had seen a young friend loose his life to cancer and were inspired to raise funds in Skye for Cancer Research UK.

Together their dedication, unstinting hard work, inspiration and organising skills have been used to the full. There can be few people in Skye who have not, at some time, come under their spot-light - in 2014 alone they raised £43,000, one of the highest amounts raised per head of population anywhere in the UK.

Over the years they have raised in excess of £800,000. And that is from Skye which has a population of only 10,000.

Hardly a month can go by without Mrs Nicolson organising some event, it may be door to door collections, a raffle, a Burns supper, Auctions, Street fair or sponsored walks, or anything else that will raise money. In between times she is knitting, and baking making tablet and marmalade for sale. Her baking is legendary - she is known to have come back from work after a busy days teaching and settle down to making 50 cakes & sponges before bed.

But Mrs Nicolson could not do all this without the full hearted support from her husband. Together they are a formidable team, travelling the length and breadth of Skye sourcing donations, support from local businesses and inspiring people to give generously and to get involved.

Another lovely spin off of their enthusiasm has been their inspiration to the next generation to donate to Cancer Research, and encourage them to volunteer and to join in the thrill of raising money to support and encourage those less fortunate. That is an invaluable gift for the future.

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