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

·2-min read
Stuart McLellan secured £270,000 for a helipad in Campbeltown (Stuart McLellan/PA)
Stuart McLellan secured £270,000 for a helipad in Campbeltown (Stuart McLellan/PA)

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

Stuart McLellan, from Renfrewshire, was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June.

He is one of nearly 200 people from the June list to have been invited to attend her state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.

“It’s a massive occasion,” Mr McLellan told the PA news agency. “I was actually quite taken aback when I got the phone call to ask if I would like to be part of it.

“It’s a sad occasion… I’m in a lot of organisations that the Queen has been sovereign head of, I’ve never had the opportunity of meeting the Queen, but the fact that I’ve actually been included as one of the last MBE recipients under the Queen has been pretty remarkable.

“I’m delighted to be included. I think it’ll be a sad occasion, but it’ll be nice to be part of a historic event.”

Mr McLellan and his friend Ross Nelson both received an MBE earlier this year after setting up the Neilston and Uplawmoor Community First Responder group.

“They’re volunteers that respond to life-threatening emergency calls,” Mr McLellan explained.

“In 2018, we got the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups. I got nominated for an MBE following that.”

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

“My family live in Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute,” Mr McLellan 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 the Help Appeal, which is the County Air Ambulance Trust.

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

He added that work has just started on securing a helipad for residents of Islay, based at the island’s hospital.