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Lymington dentist receives national honour

Community-minded Lymington Dentist receives national honour.

British Citizen Award given to Dr Donald Mackenzie for services to the community


A generous Hampshire dentist who has devoted more than three decades to his local community has been recognised with a national honour. Dr Donald Mackenzie, of Lymington, has been given a British Citizen Award for his services to the community.

Dr Donald MackenzieThe British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in January 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice annually, and recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Dr Mackenzie, aged 67, has been actively involved in promoting and supporting many organisations and helping safeguard the heritage of the town of Lymington since 1981.

Whilst being a highly successful professional – a dental specialist in Prosthodontics – Dr Mackenzie has still found time to devote to causes which benefitted the community. He has undertaken several community roles and has numerous successes attributed to him.

His first initiative was leading a major campaign to relaunch the Chamber of Commerce including designing and building their first website and database and helping to set them on a new more sustainable path.

In addition, for the past 20 years he has volunteered with the Lymington Society freely giving his time, expertise and effort as an active member of the Lymington Society Committee.

As its first Press Spokesman working with his colleagues he helped to revive the Society which grew from a membership of 130 to over 400. Dr Mackenzie was responsible for obtaining listed building status and thereby preventing the demolition of “The Masters House” a significant local building which stands on the site of the old work house, helping to preserve the history of the town.

Working for the Lymington Society, Dr Mackenzie organised a petition and a public meeting which successfully persuaded the planners to stop overdevelopment of blocks of flats in the town and cut down on unsuitable over-development as well as further public meetings on important local issues.

Through his determined efforts and commitment to the community he was responsible, with the help of a small committee for bringing Christmas Lights back to Lymington in 2008 after a break of several years having raised over £20,000 to ensure that new lights were purchased and that all the new safety rules and regulations were followed. Now taken over by the Town Council, these lights are still in use today ensuring the town has Christmas Lights to be proud of.

He has been a significant donor to local charities St. Barbe Museum and the Solent Music Festival and has sponsored local sports clubs, and many cultural events

As one of the Trustees he has been actively involved in the regeneration of the St. Barbe Museum, which saw him play an important role in raising £610,000 for the project. He has helped oversee the upgrading and enlarging of the museum, which will soon be reopened and will have a completely new museum display and be able to show a much bigger range of exhibitions as well as show works of national importance.

walhampton monumentHe is currently Chairman of the project to restore the Walhampton Monument to Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale – Lord of the Admiralty. He has led the project from the start, working with colleagues to generate funds to landscape the land surrounding the monument so that instead of an overgrown wasteland there is now open community space which as well as having a new accessible foot path, will soon have a picturesque pond.

Dr Mackenzie is known and respected in the community for passionately pursuing the public interest, fighting for what he believes in and getting things done. Against a backdrop of public sector financial uncertainty, Dr Mackenzie has used his economic, political, IT and negotiating skills to make a huge difference to this New Forest community. He has utilised the internet to connect the community and advance the communication of his causes and subsequent fundraising capability.

At a time when many rural and coastal towns are suffering from a downturn in fortunes or the threat of over-development, Dr Mackenzie has helped various organisations steer a course which has seen the town maintain its heritage and improve its appeal to the community. His donations have benefitted the town and his sponsorships have benefitted local organisations.

Dr Mackenzie is one of 30 medallists who will be honoured at a prestigious ceremony on July 6, at the Palace of Westminster. All BCA recipients have positively impact society undertaking various activities in support of a number of causes. Each will receive a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medallists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.

Speaking about his nomination, Dr Mackenzie said: “I was thrilled to find out about the award. It’s great to get recognition for the projects that I have been involved in but their success is really down to the hard work of a lot of people, not just me, and I would like to share this honour with them.”

The awards are in partnership with customer experience management company, InMoment, and are supported by the world’s largest optical retailer, Specsavers; one of the largest property and leisure management, development and regeneration companies in the UK, Places for People; leading ethical law firm Irwin Mitchell; the UK and Europe’s leading palletised freight distribution company, Pall-Ex, owned by BCAs Patron Hilary Devey; and specialist marketing, PR and communications agency, Lime Marketing – who each had representatives at the assessment day and will be presenting the awards in July.

Dr Mackenzie was nominated for a BCA by MP Desmond Swayne, who said: “Dr Mackenzie has given freely of his time, expertise and effort and has donated generously to local charities. He is well-known and respected locally for his efforts on behalf of the community.”

 

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