A COUNTY charity is running workshops in memory of a much-loved veterinary student which will raise money for equipment to rescue animals from fires.

Fostering Compassion is launching Animal Heroes workshops – to take place in East Lothian early next year, and also the Borders and Fife – in tribute to Meghan Ambrozevich-Blair.

The 26-year-old was killed almost three years ago following a crash on the A1 between the Spott and Thistly Cross roundabouts, near Dunbar.

As part of the charity’s initiative, funds will be raised to help save the lives of animals who need resuscitation after being rescued from fires.

The Ormiston-based charity’s new Animal Heroes Workshops are due to take place at Dunbar Primary School in early 2020.

They will be dedicated to Meghan, who is the daughter of East Lothian firefighter and Queen’s Fire Service Medal recipient Kevin Blair and his wife Lauren.

Lesley Winton, CEO of Fostering Compassion, told the Courier: “The new workshop, which will see the charity teaming up with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, will teach children about animals who save humans and humans who save animals.

“For the latter part of the workshop, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will come to talk to the children about amazing animal rescues they have been part of. The children will also learn about fire safety to keep humans and animals safe.”

Meghan, from Dunbar, was awarded a posthumous First Class Honours degree from Edinburgh Napier University, where she was studying veterinary nursing, following her death in December 2016.

In a statement, her mum and dad said: “We remember Meghan talking about meeting Lesley and how excited she was about the prospect of being involved with Fostering Compassion. The workshop is such a lovely way to keep Meghan’s memory alive.”

Each Fostering Compassion workshop includes the donation of ‘gifts of compassion’ from the children to animals in need.

Through the Animal Heroes workshops, funds will be raised to donate Smokey Paws oxygen mask kits, used by firefighters to resuscitate animals pulled from fires, to each of the 10 fire stations in the Lothians, Borders and Fife, which do not yet have them.

These gifts help encourage compassion and empathy in the children and at the same time, with the blessing of her family, will help keep Meghan’s memory alive.

Miss Winton added: “Meghan was also a firm believer of ‘random acts of kindness’ and created the ‘Wishing Tree’ in Pressmennan Woods in East Lothian where she hung inspirational messages full of hope and love. Both these gestures and activities will be incorporated in the workshop and the children will be encouraged to continue them at home to build on positive behavioural changes as a result of attending the Fostering Compassion activities.

“The idea of the Animal Heroes workshop came to me almost four years ago around the time Meghan’s and my paths first crossed and she put me in touch with her father. After her devastating accident, I was determined the workshop would come to fruition, but would be done as a tribute to her.

“We are greatly honoured to have her family’s blessing to do this and thank them very much for their unwavering support.”

Fostering Compassion runs animal and nature-themed workshops for children in foster care and kinship care. Since starting in 2013 with just 10 children, nearly 700 youngsters from throughout Scotland have now benefited from the programme.