Unsung Heroes

Angie Sivagnanasundaram

Angie Sivagnanasundaram

Age 49, Langbank, Renfrewshire

The mum-of-three has helped reunite more than 3000 people around the world with their long lost loved ones.

Angie is the founder of Missing People Scotland which helps families get back together sometimes after decades and thousands of miles apart.

The 49-year-old and her team of 15 admin volunteers work through a Facebook page, which now has more than 80,000 followers and a reach which extends around the globe.

They have helped to find people that no-one else had been able to trace for people seeking answers about their parents, siblings and friends.

Call centre worker Angie originally set up the page in 2011 to help the family of Susan Marshall, 55, who was missing for 43 days before her body was pulled from Glasgow's River Clyde.

The Missing People Scotland page has also helped raise the profile of missing persons cases such as Paige Doherty, John Murphy and Scott Diver

Chloe Bell

Chloe Bell

Age 21, Edinburgh

The 21-year-old risked her own life to help a stranger after a crash on the M90.

Chloe had been driving home from a night out at the cinema in February when she spotted an overturned car that had careered off the road.

The vehicle could have burst into flames at any moment as smoke billowed from the engine and petrol leaked on the road.

But Chloe volunteered to climb through the rear window of the car after a paramedic, who had also stopped at the scene, feared the badly-injured driver’s airways were becoming restricted.

Chloe was able to hold the man’s head steady while the paramedic checked his injuries. The driver was later rushed to intensive care but survived.

Gordon Goldie

Gordon Goldie

Age 50, Renfrew

When the Beast from the East blew in and almost brought Scotland to a standstill in March, the dad-of-three came to the rescue in his 4x4.

For three full days and nights Gordon ferried nurses, doctors, firefighters, care home workers, hospital staff and even police to work.

The project manager covered hundreds of miles and was inundated with requests after advertising his services on social media.

Gordon is no stranger to lending a helping hand. For the past two years he has been volunteering for the Glasgow Humane Society, who patrol the Clyde looking for the missing.

George Parsonage, who runs the river search crew, pulled Gordon’s daughter Sarah’s body out of the water after she drowned in 2016.

Ever since then the grieving dad has been raising money for the society and helping with searches as a way of repaying the kindness they showed him.

Cameron House Firefighters

Cameron House Firefighters

70 firefighters battled the fire at Cameron House last year which claimed the lives of Simon Midgley and Richard Dyson. The crew of retained firefighters from Balloch Community Fire Station heroically saved two-year old Jimmy Logan and his parents. These men and women risk their lives every day to keep us safe.

Chris Mitchell Foundation

Chris Mitchell Foundation

Former Falkirk and Queen of the South star Chris Mitchell was just 27 when he took his own life and stepped in front of a train.

Despite having a close relationship with his family, the ex-Clyde player hid the true extent of his suffering from them.

His family believe the Scottish U-21 international footballer, who had been forced to give up the beautiful game after a spinal injury, would still be here if he had talked openly about his distress.

This year they set up the Chris Mitchell Foundation to raise awareness of mental health problems in football and his memory has gone on to inspire a movement far beyond the football park.

The SPFL Trust has recently started running a mental health first aid course, funded by the foundation, which is thought to be the first of its kind anywhere in the professional sporting world.

Mark Fleming, the SPFL chaplain who runs the course, has already been asked to do bespoke training at Celtic, Rangers and further afield in Liverpool.

Karen Gray

Karen Gray

Age 43, Edinburgh

Last month little Murray Gray took his first drops of medicinal cannabis to help his crippling epilepsy seizures after doctors prescribed it to him following his mother’s campaign that went all the way to Number 10.

It is believed the five-year-old who suffers up to 600 seizures a day is the first child in Scotland to be prescribed the drug for epilepsy.

Murray finally got the green light for medicinal cannabis after falling and cutting his head during a seizure at the beginning of August.

His mum Karen, presented a 240,000-signature petition to Downing Street in April, in an effort to trigger a parliamentary debate that would result in the treatment being made available on the NHS.

The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has since eased rules on the prescription of medical cannabis.

Andy Kewley, Colin Cooper, Jordan Tijou and Robbie McMillan

Andy Kewley, Colin Cooper, Jordan Tijou and Robbie McMillan

Fraserburgh, Edinburgh

The hero rugby players kept their team-mate alive for seven minutes after his heart stopped during a training session.

They performed CPR on Chris Arnott, then zapped him back to life with a defibrillator, when the dad-of-two suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during training at Fraserburgh Rugby Club.

Andy, Colin, Jordan and Robbie put their pal in the recovery position and started chest compressions. Colin then sprinted to the nearby fitness centre to grab the defibrillator that kept Chris, 33, alive.

It wasn’t until the fourth round of CPR that the defibrillator found a shockable rhythm and policeman Chris’s heart kick-started.

Paramedics told the quick-thinking quartet their friend, who is recovering in Aberdeen Infirmary, would not have survived without their intervention.

Jim White

Jim White

Age 82, Clarkston, Glasgow

Jim has been helping the desperate and needy on the streets of Scotland’s biggest city for more than 60 years.

He is the secretary of the Wayside Club in Glasgow, where up to 100 people gather every night for soup sandwiches, a chat and a game of bingo.

The Wayside was established in 1932 to help the homeless and those suffering hardship or addiction to gambling or alcohol and Jim has been working there for six decades.

The original headquarters was in the city’s Anderston area. These days, it’s located in Midland Street, next to Arches nightclub and offers rough sleepers the chance of a shower and emergency clothing.

The charity, which is operated by the Legion of Mary, relies
completely on donations and get sandwiches from Pret and cakes from
 Lightbody’s and donations from the public.


Ullapool and Sunnyside Primary Schools

Ullapool & Sunnyside Primary Schools

The two primary schools have been at the forefront of the campaign to get Scotland to ban plastic straws.

Lobbying by pupils in Ullapool led to their Highland village becoming the first place in the UK to be free of plastic drinking straws.

The children at Sunnyside Primary convinced Glasgow City Council to end the use of plastic straws in its public outlets, restaurants and school canteens.

The Ullapool kids persuaded 14 bars, restaurants, cafes and businesses in the Ross-shire beauty spot to stop offering drinking straws or to switch to non-plastic alternatives.

As well as convincing the country's largest authority to ditch straws, the Sunnyside youngsters also persuaded Scotland's biggest ferry operator, Caledonian MacBrayne, to stop offering straws on its
vessels.

Jim White

Fiona Bennett

Age 41, Oban

The former psychiatric nurse was so horrified by the public gang rape of a nine-year-old Yazidi girl by Daesh that she helped amass more than £300,000 of medical supplies for the people of Iraq.

Fiona felt compelled to do something to help after the terror group began attacking Yazidis in 2014, forcing them from their homes in parts of northern Iraq.

From her home 3500 miles away, the mum-of-two sourced feeding tubes, needles, medical gloves, disinfectant wipes and other medical supplies to help the victims.

Fiona collected enough to fill eight shipping containers and launched a Facebook appeal to raise the £14,000 shipping fees. The equipment arrived at the hospital in Sinjar last month and is making life a whole lot better for the refugees being treated there.