A DEDICATED volunteer who gives up her time to help run the Inverclyde Music Festival has received international recognition.

Anne McGregor has devoted more than 12 years to help keep the popular showcase going.

Now her hard work has been recognised after she was made a fellow of the British and International Federation of Festival for Music, Dance and Speech - a charity which supports almost 300 festivals across the world.

Modest Anne, a former head teacher and primary education lecturer from Kilmacolm, says the award is a reflection of the fantastic team of volunteers who keep the festival running every year.

She said: "I was absolutely stunned because fellows are usually awarded to adjudicators but this is the first year they have been presented to members of local festivals.

"Festival president Isabel Lind nominated me.

"Only seven people were to receive fellows out of the whole of Britain and internationally.

"The other people who got them were people who, I thought, deserved them as they were very high profile people who had given 50 years of service and others who organise conferences and people in national committees.

"I thought these were the sort of people who deserved the fellows so my jaw dropped when they announced my name - I was absolutely stunned.

"I wouldn't have got this if there wasn't such a supportive and hard working team in Inverclyde."

Anne, who has been the secretary of the festival over the last eight years, gives up a huge amount of time to keep the event going.

But she says seeing the positive impact the music festival has on the lives of young people makes it all worthwhile.

She said: "There's a lot of camaraderie among the volunteers, it's good fun.

"It's lovely seeing children go on the stage as they are a bit nervous but they sing their songs and say their poems and six or seven years later you see them again as confident and talented teenagers.

"We feel it's so important that children go away and feel that the festival is a good thing and makes them want to come back the next year."

Festival president Isabel says Anne richly deserves her accolade.

She told the Tele: "I'm absolutely thrilled as are the festival committee.

"Anne was the only Scot who was nominated.

"I think Anne was overcome but I have absolutely no doubt that she merits it - it's very special."

Isabel says Anne has put an astonishing amount of work into the festival over the years.

She added: "For 50 weeks of the year she works on the festival.

"She has put in an incredible amount of work over the past 12 years."

Anne is now working hard ahead of next year's festival.

Anne said: "I don't think people realise how much work we need to do behind the scenes.

"At present, I'm going through the entries."

The festival will run from January 21-February 2.