Irvine's Annie McLaughlan was presented with her certificate for coming second in the international 2024 Robert Burns Humanitarian Award at the weekend.

Retired nurse Annie received her award from Irvine Burns Club President Angus Middleton at the annual celebration in honour of Scotland's Bard in the Wellwood Centre on Saturday.

Annie has spent her whole life working on community projects. A retired nurse, she ensures the elderly have access to warm social spaces where they can enjoy a hot meal.

She is chairperson of the Vineburgh Community Association which she helped found in 2005.

The association runs a foodbank, operates a drop-in café with meals available for £1, and hosts support groups and classes.

This year's winner of the humanitarian award was Gail Penfold, from the London Borough of Waltham Forest , who has been an avid volunteer, fundraiser, and campaigner in the community for five decades.

As chair of the Walthamstow Stadium Area Residents/Community Association, Gail provides a debt management, benefits and money-advice service.

Gail's impact goes beyond her borough, as she pioneered the first GP-led gardening welfare group in Waltham Forest, a model that has been expanded across London. 

She also co-founded the Waltham Forest Pet Foodbank and provides an advisory service to other pet foodbanks throughout the UK.

For more on the award, visit