An Aberdeen man has been acclaimed in the New Years Honours List for his contribution to volunteering across the country.
Paul Okroj has been made an OBE in recognition of his commitment as co-chairman of the Scottish Volunteering Forum and his role as chairman of Befriending Network UK.
He has also been instrumental in doubling the number of volunteers within the charity Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS).
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Having been presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee award in 2012 for its contribution to volunteering, CHSS is now urging more people to sign up to working alongside him in 2019.
Mr Okroj said he was “truly honoured” by the news – but added that the thousands of other volunteers across the region should be receiving the honour with him.
He said: “Volunteers are vital to Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland’s No Life Half Lived strategy.
“Quite simply, we cannot support the 1 in 5 people in Scotland living with chest, heart and stroke conditions without the time, support and commitment of our volunteers.
“I am passionate about sharing the impact and the difference volunteering makes across Scotland. It is critical in improving our society and wellbeing.
“But the people who really should get this are the thousands of people who give their time to make a difference through volunteering.
“Their efforts are truly heroic and they change lives.”