MEET the newest member of Ardgowan Hospice's workforce - an aardvark who will be going out into the community to help raise vital funds for the facility.

The hospice's new mascot was unveiled as a special leaving present to one of its creators, Ann-Marie Fry, who works in the fundraising team.

Ann-Marie has moved on to pastures new and says it has been an honour to work for the hospice.

Ann-Marie said: "It's great to see the new mascot before I go.

"It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work at Ardgowan Hospice.

"The key thing for me has been meeting the patients and their families and carers and for them to be brave enough to tell their stories to help the hospice.

"That has been a real pleasure and the staff here are exceptional."

The new mascot was the brainchild of Ann-Marie and Chris Morton who worked together in the fundraising team.

Linda McEnhill, chief executive, hopes the mascot will be a great addition to the hospice.

She said: "The aardvark is brilliant - it will make us very recognisable.

"Most charities have a mascot so it's great to have our own."

Linda also paid tribute to Ann-Marie for her work in the hospice over the past few years.

She said: "We are going to miss her excellent experience, compassion and sparkle."

The public will soon to be asked to come up with names in a competition to name the new mascot.