FIVE current and former volunteers who have served at children’s hearings in Ayrshire were guests of the King and Queen at the Royal Garden Party in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Erica Edwards from Largs, Kirsty Murdoch from Coylton, Senga Park from Ayr, Shirley Dunipace, from East Kilbride and Margaret Johnstone from Kilbirnie enjoyed a fantastic day at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The volunteers were invited to the grand event in recognition of their services to infants, children and young people.

Gathering with fellow panel members before the garden party, Senga said: “It is an honour to be here in Edinburgh, as a representative of the Ayrshire Children's Panel Members, who are all committed and dedicated to supporting our children and families.”

Thirty-eight serving or former volunteers in Scotland’s unique Children’s Hearings system were invited to the garden party.

Children’s hearings are legal meetings set up because there are concerns about the wellbeing or care of an infant, child or young person.

Three panel members sit at each hearing, where decisions are made in the best interests of the child.

There are more than 2,000 volunteer Panel Members who sit on more than 20,000 hearings across Scotland each year.

Children’s Hearings Scotland recruits, trains and supports Panel Members and is always keen to hear from people interested in volunteering.

The annual campaign to recruit volunteers takes place in September, and in the meantime you can register your interest in becoming a Panel Member.

Elliot Jackson, chief executive of Children’s Hearings Scotland, said: “I’m incredibly proud of our volunteers who are making important decisions in the best interests of infants, children and young people across Scotland.

“I’m delighted to see them celebrated and honoured in this way, recognising the positive outcomes their service brings for so many people.”