The family of a selfless woman who spent her final days volunteering for a north-east charity before losing her battle with cystic fibrosis collected a special posthumous award on her behalf yesterday.
Katie-Jane Buchan, 22, died on August 30 – just days after parading down Union Street as part of Celebrate Aberdeen for the social care charity VSA, where she had volunteered since 2014.
During her time with the charity, the events management graduate helped to put on major fundraising events such as the annual ball, helping to raise thousands of pounds for people in need.
At an emotional ceremony in Aberdeen’s townhouse yesterday, her “extremely proud” family, including mother Tracy Buchan and niece Kennedy-Jane, collected the VSA Lata Jandial Memorial Award for Volunteering in her memory.
Katie’s aunt Jodie Johnston said: “There’s been mixed emotions.
“On one hand we’re extremely proud that her achievements have been recognised in this way, and on the other hand, it’s still really devastating for all of us on daily basis that she’s not here to collect the award herself.
“For all of the daily challenges that Katie faced, when she set her mind to something, nothing really got in her way – she was very strong willed.
“Event management is what she wanted to do as a career, and she wanted to give something back to VSA while learning at the same time.”
Ahead of the award presentation, the VSA’s Fiona Kennedy said: “Katie started volunteering with VSA in 2014 when she was studying events management at Robert Gordon University, and she very quickly became part of the VSA family.
“Her enthusiasm for events and VSA did not go unnoticed, and her fun-loving nature always added sparkle to any event.
“One of the greatest gifts you can give in life is time, and Katie knew her time was precious, and yet she chose to volunteer her time with us still.
“Even in her final days, she was selfless, and gave us her time parading down Union Street with her VSA jumper, and for that we will be forever grateful.
“This is a reflection on the type of person Katie was. Her enthusiasm for life, and her ability to light up a room, is what we will miss most.”