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What makes a Burns Humanitarian?

An advocate for social change and an inspiration for the founders of socialism and liberalism, Robert Burns was a man who viewed everyone as equal and genuinely lived as a true humanitarian - someone devoted to the promotion of human welfare and to social reforms.

This is most commonly recognised in his famous lines:

That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that.

We're looking for a person, or a group of people, who follow in Rabbie's footsteps and devote themselves to others and push the boundaries for social change. Our previous Robert Burns Humanitarian Award winners show that there's no one description or mould that defines a humanitarian - they come from all walks of life and all sorts of places.

However, the one thing they do have in common is a proven track record that makes it clear why they deserved their Robert Burns Humanitarian Award. Without question, they all clearly demonstrated - either through a particular achievement or a series of efforts - one of more of the following:

  • A courageous deed involving personal self-sacrifice, going beyond the call of duty in the name of humanity.
  • A commitment to serving others and making a difference through humanitarian acts of selfless service.
  • A generosity of spirit and dedication helping improve the quality of life for people in need through the provision of shelter, food, clothing, education or meaningful employment.
  • Direct 'hands-on' participation in humanitarian works that directly benefit an individual/groups of individuals/community.
  • Outstanding involvement and dedication that makes a significant contribution to volunteer leadership or service which has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity and society as a whole.
  • An act of kindness done without expectation of reward that has resulted in recognition by members of a community/organisation.