Glasgow & West Scotland

Campaigner Anna Ferrer wins Robert Burns Humanitarian Award

Anna Ferrer
Image caption Anna Ferrer is credited with improving the lives of up to 3.6 million people

An aid worker and campaigner for women and children's rights in India has been named winner of this year's Robert Burns Humanitarian Award.

Anna Ferrer, who has been based in India since the 1960s, is credited with improving the lives of up to 3.6 million people in the country.

She was named winner of the global humanitarian honour at a ceremony in Alloway, Burns' birthplace.

It comes ahead of celebrations to mark the 259th anniversary of Burns' birth.

Anna Ferrer helped set up a rural development trust, focussing on issues affecting women in the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana regions of India.

Youngest ever

Since 1969, the trust has set up four major hospitals, six rural clinics, two mobile clinics and other specialist care centres.

Also recognised at the awards was youngest ever finalist, 12-year-old Mason Kidd.

Image caption Mason Kidd raised more than £10,000 for Glasgow Children's Hospital

The Cumnock youth carried out 18 "acts of kindness" over the course of 2017 in memory of his late brother, who died of cancer at the age of two.

Since March last year, Mason has taken pizzas to the local fire station, treated his local police officers to doughnuts, left tennis balls in his local park for dog walkers and bought teddies for the babies at Ayrshire maternity neonatal unit, where he was treated for a time as a child.

His 18th act of kindness was to raise money for Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity.

Estranged father

He eventually raised £10,000 and presented the money on 1 December, on what would have been his brother Ross' 18th birthday.

Also named as a finalist was Sandra Brown OBE, who was eight years old when her neighbour, 11-year-old Moira Anderson went missing in Coatbridge in 1957.

It emerged later that Sandra's estranged father was suspected of Moira's abduction and murder.

She founded The Moira Anderson Foundation to help those affected by childhood trauma.

The winner was announced at Burns Cottage, with the event supported by South Ayrshire Council.

As well as the RBHA 2018 title, winners also receive the equivalent of 1,759 guineas (approximately £1,800) - a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation.

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