Charitable trio recognised with British Empire Medals

A long-standing charity shop worker, an animal therapy carer and a celebrated child cancer nurse have been presented with the British Empire Medal on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.

British Empire Medals

June McIntosh, a registered nurse with the Western General Hospital for 30 years and a fundraiser for Fighting Against Cancer Edinburgh (FACE) for 25 years, received the honour for services to young people with cancer and to charity.

Described as part nurse, part play therapist, part counsellor and part friend by her peers, June is recognised for improving the lives of countless children undergoing cancer treatment and their families in Edinburgh, and for making a real and measurable difference to patient care as deputy charge nurse for the Edinburgh Cancer Centre.   

Alexander 'Douglas' Ruthven, a volunteer dog walker and Trustee of Therapet, is recognised for voluntary service to the community in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Douglas and his beloved Border Collies have been regular visitors to longstay patients and residents in hospitals, care and nursing homes since 1998. He is recognised for negotiating a key initiative with NHS Lothian to provide pet therapy support to children confined to hospital, people suffering from stress and anxiety and the lonely.

Fiona Russell, a volunteer at her local Capability Scotland shop, is honoured with the British Empire Medal for services to charity. 

Volunteering three days a week, every week, Fiona has rarely missed a shift in 22 years. She is commended for supporting and training staff across Capability Scotland's shops, for her commitment and passion. The financial benefit of her service to the charity has been described as incalculable.

All three were presented with a certificate and the British Empire Medal by the Queen's representative in Edinburgh, Lord Lieutenant Frank Ross, at a ceremony within the City Chambers last night (Tuesday 5 December).

Lord Lieutenant Frank Ross said: “These exceptional citizens have dedicated most of their lives to driving and delivering care and volunteer services. The sheer passion June, Douglas and Fiona bring to their work is unmatched, and the value of their combined efforts to the people and charities of Edinburgh is incalculable.

"I never fail to be amazed by the astounding generosity of people in this city, and between them, this inspiring trio have supported hundreds of cancer patients and their families, raised thousands of pounds for charity, and have undoubtedly helped to improve countless lives.

"It is my honour and privilege to honour this dedication and present them with the British Empire Medal on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.”

The British Empire Medal is awarded for a sustained, local contribution of innovative, high-impact work worthy of recognition by the Crown. Awarded from 1922 until 1992, it was brought back in June 2012 in celebration for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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