THE FOUNDER and managing director of a North Ayrshire charity has been awarded a special platinum champion award by the Royal Voluntary Service.

Alison McColl, founded Fibro Friends United (FFU) Scotland CIC, Scotland’s National Non-Profit Organisation for Fibromyalgia some five years ago.

Since then, she was worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the condition, and seek change for those living with Fibromyalgia, which causes pain all over the body.

The platinum champion award was launched in honour of the Queen’s 70 years of service to the country and aims “to celebrate the remarkable contribution of all volunteers, who truly are the backbone of our country”.

Over 3,000 nominations were received across the UK, with only 490 volunteers hand picked by a judging panel to receive the recognition.

Alison was one of only 28 platinum champions selected from the Scottish nominees.

Each winner will receive the royal seal of approval with a Platinum Champion certificate and pin badge.

The four other directors at FFU Scotland CIC paid homage to Alison and the work she carries out

They said: “This is so deserved. Alison who lives with Fibromyalgia and many complex conditions herself, has had a hard battle for the last two years, due to contracting Covid and now being diagnosed with Long Covid.

“The organisation has also faced a huge loss of funds through fundraising as a result of the lockdowns and at the end of 2021 were further hit with the loss of premises.

“Alison, however, has never given up. During the first lockdown she organised and distributed over 250 hygiene/PPE hampers to those most vulnerable living with Fibromyalgia across 26 local authority areas.

“She continues to fight to get the organisation back into premises to continue to build the first community-based pathway centre for Fibromyalgia in Scotland.”

While Alison herself added: “I am totally blown away and honoured that I was one of the 490 UK Platinum Champions. I would like to say thank you to all our volunteers within FFU Scotland.

“I am truly humbled and will continue to use my years of social work and volunteering experience to gain better recognition, understanding, education and pathways for all living with Fibromyalgia.”