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WATCH: Community champion of Highland Heroes says helping others 'gives his life purpose'

By Rachel Smart

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A Highland man who has selflessly dedicated his life to helping others has been crowned this year's community champion at the Highland Heroes Awards 2024.

David MacRae – who was also named overall hero of heroes at this year's awards – was recognised for doing something quietly within his community, without any thought of praise for himself.

Mr MacRae has been a ‘secret Santa’ for underprivileged families for the past 18 years. It started with anonymously delivering kit to the homes of two young boys who turned up to football without anything appropriate to wear. Last Christmas, over 1200 children, pensioners, people with disabilities, and more received Secret Santa gift bags. David, who had to retire eight years ago because of multiple sclerosis (MS), says it gives his life purpose.

On winning the award, Mr MacRae said: "I can't believe it, I feel great. Especially for everyone who has helped me over the last 18 years and especially what I've gone through with my MS. It's not been easy."

David Macrae won the Community Champion Award sponsored by Springfield. Picture: James Mackenzie.
David Macrae won the Community Champion Award sponsored by Springfield. Picture: James Mackenzie.

David has always helped people from a young age, from primary school football clubs to Clachnacuddin youth.

Mr MacRae is passionate about helping others and believes that a simple 'good morning' or 'hello' as you pass someone on the street makes a world of difference. For him, it's all about helping those around you.

He said: "People really need to recognise what is happening in Inverness. Over the last 18 years, every year, I see it getting harder and harder and harder.

"We really need to look after our neighbour. I know it's an old saying, but people don't realise what's going on amongst them. You need to get tight."

The community champion award was sponsored by Springfield Group.

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