This St. Andrews Day Prime Minister Theresa May has recognised an adventurer from Aberdeen who completes extreme challenges to promote the benefits of exercise on health with a Point of Light volunteering award.
Dr Andrew Murray is an extreme runner and health campaigner who completes challenges and has fundraised over £170,000 for the Scottish Association for Mental Health, the African Palliative Care Association UK and Yamaa Trust and to promote the benefits of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.
He has completed a vast number of extreme and record breaking extreme fundraising runs including seven ultramarathons on seven continents within seven days, a 4300km run from John O’Groats to the Sahara Desert, a run to the top of Britain’s ten highest peaks in a single day, a run across the Namib desert and amongst 10 extreme races he has won, the Sahara Race and Genghis Khan Ice Marathon in Outer Mongolia.
Working as a doctor for the University of Edinburgh, the European Tour Golf, the SportScotland Institute of Sport, Scottish Rugby, and Merrell UK, Andrew has also found time to provide voluntary medical services in Kenya, Outer Mongolia and Namibia.
Andrew is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Andrew, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your remarkable running challenges are raising funds for three important charities, but also inspiring countless people to become more active and improve their health.”
Andrew is the 622nd winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA and was first established by President George H. W. Bush. Over 5,000 US Points of Light have been awarded and both President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK which honours shining examples of volunteering across the country.
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Point of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.
“To be honest running around in deserts and cold places, and having the opportunity to work with communities in projects in places like Outer Mongolia, Kenya, Namibia and back home are all great fun. I’d totally encourage people to explore, try new things and also to volunteer- it’s given me some of the best and most memorable experiences of my life. Volunteering and supporting the likes of the Scottish Association for Mental Health, the Yamaa Trust, the African Palliative Care Association and Ramblers Scotland has given me far more than I’ve given back.
I’m also passionate about promoting physical activity for health. The reason for this is that as a GP and as a father regular physical activity is the single best present we can give our patients, and our children- offering 7 years of extra life, better health, and increasing happiness. It’s a great honour to be recognised by Points of Light, and the Prime Minister.”