IT MAY have been wowing the crowds in the city centre at the weekend, but the Coca-Cola Christmas truck spent its last day in Edinburgh bringing cheer to one person in particular.
The truck and festive choir, led by Jay Kamiraz, winner of The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award, set up outside the home of John Macaulay MBE to present him with his Christmas Hero award.
Readers of the Evening News were asked to nominate a special person who helps to spread happiness, embodies a community spirit and gives up their time to bring people together.
John was nominated for the award for his extensive work with children in the Capital. As well as his decades of work with Radio Lollipop at the Sick Kids hospital, he is also a trustee for the charity FACE, and organises an annual trip to Lapland for children suffering from cancer.
A submission written by friend Mark Patterson, who also works with FACE (Fight Against Cancer in Edinburgh) read: “John is a wonderful person who devotes every second of his life to helping others whether it be in his day job, as a learning assistant at Forrester High School, helping kids who have learning difficulties or whether it is outwith school.
“John organises a trip for children who have undergone intense treatment for cancer to Lapland every year to see Santa in his home.
“I believe John would be so surprised to get this reward. It would honestly be so deserved – he is an absolute gentleman and never thinks of anything else apart from the kids he is helping.”
John looked stunned when the massive truck and choir showed up outside his home last night, bringing music – and free samples – to all those around.
Evening News editor Frank O’Donnell, who presented John with his award, said: “Christmas is a time for giving, and this award is a chance for the community to give a little back to someone who has made a difference to so many people’s lives. John is an inspirational character who devotes every day to helping others. He thoroughly deserves this Christmas Spirit award for his valuable and tireless contribution to the wider community.”
Along with the award, John received £500 worth of shopping vouchers, a Christmas hamper, an iPad mini and £200 of theatre vouchers.
John said: “It was a complete surprise when I was told I had won, I didn’t even know I had been nominated. I do what I do for the kids, I enjoy helping people, particularly at this time of year.
“Many of the children I work with suffer from cancer, or have lost their parents so Christmas is a difficult time for them. I want to thank Coca-Cola and the News for the recognition.”