A Milngavie man has been awarded an MBE to recognise his lifelong dedication to the protection of vulnerable children in East Dunbartonshire.
Ian Hart will be honoured at this summer’s investiture ceremony having spent the last 40 years of his life safeguarding the welfare of young people.
He has been a volunteer on the East Dunbartonshire Children’s Panel since 1975 and has served as the chairman for the last 14 years.
In 2008, he was also asked to chair the Children’s Panel Chairmen’s Group — a body which tackles national issues within the Children’s Hearings system.
In addition, Ian is also a committee member for the children’s charity Barnardo’s in Scotland and is vice-chair of the Kibble’s Intensive Fostering Service. And, though he spent his working life as a property manager for a Glasgow property firm, he is said to have had a ‘career’ in helping disadvantaged youngsters.
Ian said his decision to become involved in the Children’s Panel was motivated by his desire to aid those youngster most in need.
He added: “Working on the panel has been an amazing experience; something which I have always enjoyed.
“I have always gotten more out of working there than I have ever given and I feel it has given me a better understanding of people in general.”
In his role of panel member, Ian has always been a fervent advocate of the famed Kilbrandon philosophy which informs the Children’s Hearings System in Scotland.
This tradition asserts that the welfare of the children is paramount, meaning those children who are brought before the panel — for whatever reason — should be considered and treated as victims.
“Some children find themselves in some unbelievable situations,” he said. “Unfortunately, some of them have fallen into difficulties, through no fault of their own.
“When this happens, we try and do whatever we can to try and help them get back on track.”