Rotary Club of Polmont rewards bus driver with Community Service Award

Neil Edwards (centre) is pictured with wife Maureen as he receives the Community Service Award from Rotary Club of Polmont president Jim Dyer. Picture: Michael Gillen
Neil Edwards (centre) is pictured with wife Maureen as he receives the Community Service Award from Rotary Club of Polmont president Jim Dyer. Picture: Michael Gillen

A “caring” bus driver has been formally recognised after going the extra mile to support the Rotary Club of Polmont.

Neil Edwards was named as the recipient of the organisation’s Community Service Award for 2019.

Members felt it was only right to reward Neil for the numerous times he has lent a helping hand and transported those involved in the club’s Santa Sleigh project around the doors to gather funds for charitable causes in the run-up to Christmas.

The 63-year-old has laid on mini buses with support from his former employer, St Michael’s Hospital in Linlithgow, and volunteered his driving services free of charge to allow the club’s collectors — or elves — to reach as many people as possible.

Polmont resident Neil was presented with his award at a ceremony in the Inchyra Grange Hotel at the end of October by rotary president Jim Dyer.

The recent retiree said: “It’s fantastic.

“I’m not a member but I know a lot of the people there. I’m good friends with most of them.

“One of my neighbours is a member and he came up with the idea.

“Over the last few years when they have gone out I’ve had access to a mini bus and taken all the elves when we went round the streets.

“I was quite happy to do it as the problem they have got is getting the collectors out.

“Linlithgow Day Care Centre is a charity in its own right and they benefit from getting some of the collection money.

“I’d just like to thank everybody in the club.”

Although the Santa Sleigh initiative won’t be taking to the streets this year, Neil insists he will still happily offer his assistance to the Rotary Club of Polmont for any charitable projects, should it be required.

He added: “They’ve put the Santa sleigh into retirement, I think it has run its course.

“However, the club is doing a collection at Tesco and Co-op and I will probably get roped in!”

Past Rotary Club of Polmont president Nancy Rule, who remains a member, said: “Neil deserves this award — he’s very, very good to us.

“He’s just outstanding, caring and always obliging.

“Neil is joyful, good for a laugh and he’s got great jokes and teases us all the time! He’s a really nice guy.

“He never hesitated when we phoned him up and asked if he could help us again.”