Penicuik CAB building named ‘Palmer House’ in honour of Sir Geoff Palmer

Penicuik CAB building named 'Palmer House' in honour of Sir Geoff Palmer

Penicuik Citizens Advice Bureau is naming its building ‘Palmer House’ in honour of anti-racism campaigner Sir Geoff Palmer.

Sir Geoff has been a trustee of Penicuik CAB since 2004. He was awarded a knighthood in 2014 for his services to human rights, science and charity. Mr Palmer is also a celebrated scientist and academic, Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, and a Freeman of Midlothian.

In 1998 he was awarded the ‘Nobel prize for brewing’, the Award of Distinction from the American Society of Brewing Chemists.

Penicuik CAB was founded in 1976 and continued to deliver advice during the pandemic, unlocking over £2.2 million in gains for people in the area.

Sue Peart, Penicuik CAB manager, said: “We’re really lucky to have been able to count on Sir Geoff’s skills, experience and expertise for all these years, and I’m hoping for many more!

“Naming the building after him is a small token of the appreciation we have for the time he has dedicated to Penicuik CAB. That’s what the Citizens Advice service is really all about - local people helping each other in their community.”

Sir Geoff Palmer added: “I’m humbled and honestly a little embarrassed to receive this recognition from Penicuik CAB, I may have some difficulty walking past the building now! I’ve lived in the area for years and volunteering with the CAB as a trustee has always been immensely rewarding.

“I also appreciate the symbolic importance of naming the building after me, and what it means not just in the local community but in other parts of the country where I have done work around equality and diversity. It’s an honour I won’t take for granted.”

Derek Mitchell, Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive, said: “Sir Geoff has achieved an extraordinary amount in his career and campaigning life, and given how in demand and precious his time is, I know Penicuik CAB feel really lucky to have him, as does the wider Citizens Advice network in Scotland.

“Last year during the pandemic CABs helped over 170,000 people, and the network has been supporting communities for over 80 years, since the second world war on, giving advice that can be absolutely life changing for people in dire need.

“That simply would not happen without volunteers giving their time, skills and experience to help their fellow citizens. Sir Geoff is a shining example of that and on behalf of the wider Citizens Advice network in Scotland I’d like to thank him for his commitment. Naming this building after him is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary work he has done.”

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