Irene and her team are all heart

Pictured is Irene (left) with Kathy, and other local fundraisers from the group Lydia Livingstone, Marjory Birse and Heather Reid.

Pictured is Irene (left) with Kathy, and other local fundraisers from the group Lydia Livingstone, Marjory Birse and Heather Reid.

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An Arbroath volunteer who has raised over £10,000 for her chosen cause has been recognised not only by the charity in question but also Holyrood.

Last month Irene Lindsay received a Fundraising Volunteer of the Year award from British Heart Foundation (BHF) Scotland for her dedication, but on Thursday she opened a letter from the Scottish Government informing her that a motion was being lodged in parliament to mark her achievements.

Irene said: “I am delighted to have been given such a special award as there are so many worthy volunteers who give their time to the BHF.

“I have met some amazing people and have lovely memories fundraising for the BHF. The BHF are so supportive and there are so many different ways you can get involved. I would encourage anyone to volunteer for the BHF as it is such a rewarding experience and you get to meet the most fantastic and inspiring people.”

Irene has been fundraising for BHF for the last two or three years and in that time around £10,000 has been realised in support of the charity from a range of events.

Irene said: “We’ve been very successful not just by ourselves but because of all the people who have had fundraisers and given our group the money to be able to bank it for BHF.

“We’ve done a number of events, just different things and it’s amazing how the money adds up.”

The group has held quizzes, concerts, and been helped by fundraisers held by Arbroath High School pupils, individuals and bucket collections at Arbroath Musical Society and Abbey Theatre Club productions.

Irene first became involved with BHF after a family health scare. She explained: “My younger brother had a massive heart attack eight years ago on his birthday and at the time I was having what were thought to be mini-strokes, and his heart attack rang a few warning bells.”

Irene had tests run and it was discovered she had a problem with her heart which required an operation and the installation of stents in her heart.

After her operation she attended the Angus Cardiac Group exercise classes and one day they had as a guest Helen Anderson who was looking for volunteers to start a fundraising group for BHF in Arbroath. The rest as they say, is history.

First the national award and now parliamentary recognition, put forward by Angus South MSP Graeme Dey, is a lot to take in. Irene added: “I do feel a wee bit overwhelmed and a wee bit undeserving because there are five of us in the group and it’s a team effort. I’m just a little cog in our small wheel.”