Nominations open for award in honour of the Greatest Scot

 14 October 2016  |  

Nominations can be made online at until 4pm on Monday 14 November 2016.

Nominations can be made online at until 4pm on Monday 14 November 2016.

A global search is on for humanitarians who bring hope and inspiration and transform lives – at home or abroad – as nominations open for an award created in honour of the man considered to be the greatest Scot ever, Robert Burns.

The much sought-after Robert Burns Humanitarian Award – supported by South Ayrshire Council and Scotland's Winter Festivals as part of the Alloway 1759 celebrations – recognises courage, commitment, inspiration and hands-on humanitarian efforts from people of any nationality, race, age or gender.

Organisers are now seeking nominations to help recognise those who have saved, improved or enriched the lives of others or society as a whole, through personal self-sacrifice, selfless service or direct humanitarian work.

As well as the RBHA 2017 title, winners receive the equivalent of 1759 guineas (approximately £1,800) – a sum which signifies the year of the Bard's birth and the coinage then in circulation.

The 2016 winner was David Nott – a life-saving British doctor known as the 'Indiana Jones of surgery', who literally had to dodge bombs and stare down the barrel of a gun while he worked to save lives.

David has taken his skills and experience and established the David Nott Foundation – a UK registered charity that provides surgeons and medical professionals with the skills they need to provide relief and assistance in conflict and natural disaster zones around the world.

Nominations for people to follow in David's footsteps can now be submitted online at

Bill McIntosh, Chair of the RBHA judging panel, said: "Robert Burns was a person who viewed everyone as equal and genuinely lived as a true humanitarian and we're looking for people who live up to his ethos. There's no 'one size fits all' description for what makes someone a humanitarian – and a potential Robert Burns Humanitarian Award nominee.

"However, the one thing our nominees always have in common is a passion and commitment to human rights and a determination to ensure that they push the boundaries for social change to make a difference for others.

"Nominees don't have to be someone you know – it could be someone you've seen in the media or have heard about in other ways and that you know is doing some terrific work to make a difference for people in difficult and unimaginable situations.

"And while they won't be looking for any recognition, it's important that we applaud and celebrate their efforts to change the lives of others, so please get nominating now."

To help get some ideas for nominations, you can view the three 2016 finalists' stories at

Nominations for the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2017 can be made online at until 4pm on Wednesday 30 November 2016.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in January 2016, to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.