Co-founder of life-saving voluntary group ‘taken aback’ at funeral invite

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A man who contributed to life-saving work in the west of Scotland says he was “shocked” when he received an invitation to the Queen’s state funeral.

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Stuart McClellan from Renfrewshire was made an MBE at the Queen’s Birthday Honors in June.

He is one of nearly 200 people on the June list who were invited to attend his state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.


“This is a huge opportunity,” Mr McClellan told the PA news agency. “I was actually quite surprised when I got a call asking if I would like to be a part of it.

“It’s a sad occasion … I’ve been in a lot of organizations that have been Sovereign Head of the Queen, I’ve never had the opportunity to meet the Queen, but the fact that I’m actually included as one of the last MBE recipients under Queen have been quite remarkable.

“I am delighted to be involved. I think it will be a sad occasion, but it would be nice to be part of a historic event.”

Mr McClellan and his friend Ross Nelson both received MBEs earlier this year after founding the Neilston and Appalmoor Community First Responder Groups.

“They are volunteers who respond to life-threatening emergency calls,” Mr McClellan explained.

“In 2018, we received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is equivalent to an MBE, for voluntary groups. After that I was enrolled for MBE.”

Mr McClellan has in recent years secured hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund vital life-saving equipment and resources for remote communities in the west of Scotland.

“My family lives in Campbelltown in Argyll and Bute,” Mr McClellan said. “They needed a helipad, and the community had been trying for years to get it, so I managed to do a business case and get them funding from Aid Appeal, which is the County Air Ambulance Trust.

“I gave them £270,000 for a 24/7 hospital helipad, which is now saving daily lives.”

He said the work on securing a helipad for the residents of Islay, located at the island’s hospital, had just begun.


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