Award for a local hero who’s been volunteering since he was eight

A community champion who has been volunteering for local causes since he was eight years old has been honoured with an award.

Derek ‘Titch’ Fowlis was this week named as the Regional Hero for Helensburgh and Lomond in the Argyll and Bute Volunteer of the Year Awards.

He was nominated by Susie Will for his fund-raising work for the Cove and Kilcreggan Youth Café, which has received over £1,000 thanks to events at the Creggans Pub, which he runs.

Derek lives in Kilcreggan and is a member of the local community council, as well as being on the board of Rosneath Peninsula West Community Development Trust.

But his volunteering started when he was a young boy in Rosneath, helping the village community association of which his dad was chairman and his mum was secretary.

“My mum and I ran a play club in the early 1980s,” he said.

“I then became involved with the Highland Games and when I was 17 I went on the committee, and I’ve been on the committee for 30 years.

“I’m lucky in the position I’m in, that I can have events in the pub and raise money for local causes.

“I’ve always got to put something back – if it wasn’t for the community then the pub wouldn’t be there!”

Derek has also coached Ardencaple and Helensburgh football teams, and served on Cove Sailing Club’s committee.

The next fund-raising event at the pub will be a race night on September 29 in aid of the Cove Carnival events being organised by the development trust.

The award was presented in Oban yesterday, and Derek said: “It’s nice to get recognition but It’s quite humbling because there are a lot of people who have done more.”