THE Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution have honoured their Ayrshire Volunteer committee – and one of their individual members.

At a Jubilee event on board HMS Albion, attended by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, the group award was given to Gregor Caldwell representing the Ayrshire committee, while Andrew Arbuckle was presented with his individual award.

Gregor, Deputy Head of Agricultural Staff at Scottish Government, founded the Ayrshire Volunteer Committee to support RSABI in 2009. Gregor has chaired the committee since it was set up and during the past 12 years, the committee has raised around £120,000.

Among the many activities undertaken have been three vintage tractor restorations. The tractors were then raffled or auctioned off and the proceeds went to RSABI.

A highly successful ladies’ lunch and fashion show has been running for several years at Turnberry and sponsored walks and activities undertaken have included a coast-to-coast walk – the Southern Upland Way. Pancake-making has also been a big success, with stalls at Ayr Market in the run up to Christmas proving very popular and raising funds as well as spirits.

David Leggat, Chair of RSABI, said: “During our anniversary year we are very much celebrating the extraordinary people involved in Scottish agriculture and thanking everyone who, in a huge variety of ways, supports the work undertaken by RSABI.

“The support of people like Andrew, Gregor and the Ayrshire Committee is absolutely vital to the success of the work we do, and our sincere thanks go to them and all the farming and crofting families and agricultural businesses who help us in different ways.

“Knowing we have the industry behind us is a huge strength which underpins the work we do for people facing challenging times and this year we are aiming to recruit a further 125 members.”