Humanist of the Year 2019

Paul Millar announced as the winner of the Gordon Ross, Humanist of the Year Award. 


We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Gordon Ross Humanist of the Year Award is Glasgow StreetCare volunteer Paul Millar. 

Paul got involved with the StreetCare project in Glasgow three years ago, volunteering on the Thursday evening T-Run. He was instrumental in setting up the Wednesday T-Walk two and a half years ago, and has helped collect and distribute donated food to roofless and vulnerable people in Glasgow nearly every week ever since it started. Paul has worked hard to establish relationships with retail outlets in Glasgow to ensure a regular and varied supply of food is on offer, he is a great support to his volunteer colleagues, and makes a legendary lentil soup that has provided warmth, nourishment, and just the right amount of pepper to many cold recipients over the years.  

Previous Humanist of the Year winner Bob Scott who volunteers with Paul on the StreetCare project said

Paul’s cheerful demeanour and his practical hands-on approach has acted as a powerful encouragement to others on the team who are less confident.   

Paul’s altruism extends to all areas of his life. He has just recovered from major surgery after becoming a living kidney donor. After watching a documentary about non-directed altruistic donation, Paul was inspired to act. Craig Campbell, Humanist Society trustee, celebrant, and StreetCare volunteer said,

This is typical of Paul. He saw the documentary and thought, well I have two so I may as well help someone with the spare. It was a big surgery and he took about a month to recuperate, but he’s back on the T-Walk now as though nothing has happened. 

Humanist Society Scotland Chair, Maggie Kinloch, presented Paul with his award said

The Gordon Ross Humanist of the Year Award was established to recognise and celebrate individuals whose efforts to promote Humanism and its values are exceptional. Paul’s dedication to the Glasgow StreetCare project, his positive influence on his volunteering colleagues and the people that use the StreetCare project, his inexhaustible enthusiasm for the project and the people who use it, and his selfless donation of a kidney to a stranger, make Paul an incredibly worthy winner of this award. 

When learning that he had won the award Paul said,

I am honoured, humbled and more than a little flabbergasted to receive the Humanist of the Year Award, especially when I look back at the extraordinary individuals who have previously won the award. I understand my involvement with the StreetCare project and my decision to become an altruistic kidney donor were the main reasons behind my nomination. In each of these experiences I am privileged to have been aided by fantastic people – whether it be my fellow volunteers at StreetCare, or the Living Donor Transplant team at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, I have been lucky to have had such amazing individuals working together successfully to make a difference.  

The award was presented to by Chair Maggie Kinloch on the 19th December in Glasgow before the volunteer team began that evenings T-Walk. A motion has been put to the Scottish Parliament by MSP Gail Ross that states

That the Parliament congratulates Paul Miller on being named Gordon Ross Humanist of the Year; understands that Paul has been instrumental in furthering the work of StreetCare, which collects, distributes and donates food to homeless and vulnerable people in Glasgow on a weekly basis; notes that Paul has achieved all of this while being a living kidney donor, from which it took months to recover; understands that Paul makes a “legendary lentil soup” with just the right amount of pepper, which is appreciated by volunteers and those who interact with StreetCare, and acknowledges that the award Paul has received is only given to those who extol the virtues of ethics, rationalism, human rights, social responsibility and democracy.



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