Following a search by Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell for the area’s ‘local hero’, Achievement Bute project manager, Dorothy McDonald, has been chosen to attend the Royal opening of the new Parliamentary session on July 2.
The local heroes nominated by MSPs the length and breadth of Scotland will take part in the Riding Procession down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and will take part in Big Day Out Events.
Mr Russell used social media and the local press to invite nominations from across Argyll and Bute which he suggested should recognise exceptional contributions to the community, and Dorothy was suggested by a number of people who had worked with her.
Mr Russell MSP said: “Dorothy McDonald is from the island of Bute and has played a central role in securing inclusion for children with disabilities in her community. She is now the project manager for Achievement Bute, an organisation with inclusion at its very heart.
“Started in 1997 by a group of parents including Dorothy who met, to start with, in a church hall, Achievement Bute has, through the efforts of Dorothy and other volunteers, now established a clear and valued place in the community.
“Dorothy has worked selflessly to secure recognition for the organisation and its work from public bodies and other charities and to professionalise its provision. She has also been a tireless advocate for better services for children with disabilities on the island. That has included making the case for better overall support from Argyll and Bute Council for individual children and their parents, council support services, and for better mainstreaming in the local schools.
“Achievement Bute now offers children with disabilities on the island opportunities to get involved in a wide range of activities ranging from drama to den building. These are always well attended and greatly assist in the inclusion of all young people in the community.
“Dorothy was nominated by parents of children she has helped who have the highest regard for the hard work she has put in both as a volunteer and as a worker for the charity. She is a very fitting ‘local hero’ in Argyll & Bute.”