Scotland’s third sector had its own event which took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on Thursday 22nd of June. The Scottish Charity Awards 2017 joined charities and individuals from across Scotland to be recognized for the difference they have been making from their beginning until now. The event was organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and there were eight different award categories plus the People's Choice Award. At the moment, they have over 1800 members who range from individuals and grassroots groups, to Scotland-wide organisations and intermediary bodies.
The Scottish Charity Awards 2017 celebrated the amazing work that people within charities and community groups do everyday all over the country. Among the huge range of incredible work going on all over Scotland, the winners of this edition are:
- Charity of the Year: Street Soccer Scotland
Street Soccer Scotland has brought positive change through football for socially disadvantaged people in Scotland. They have provided free football drop-in sessions 365 days a year for some of Scotland’s most socially excluded people. On receiving the award, David Duke, founder and CEO of the project wanted to dedicate it to volunteers and players who every day find motivation to change their lives and struggle problems such as homelessness and mental health issues.
- Leading Light: Celine Sinclair, The Yard
The Yard runs adventure play services for disabled children, young people and their families in the east of Scotland. They offer disabled children and their siblings the chance to experience relative, adventurous indoor and outdoor play in a well-supported environment. Celine Sinclair is a committed advocate for disabled children and leads The Yard team with her passion and dedication every day. In the ceremony, Celine said: “My vision is access to safe and adventurous play opportunities for all of Scotland’s disabled children”.
- Charity Champion: Laura Young, Teapot Trust
Laura has made hospitals less daunting for children and their families by providing art therapy, empowering them and introducing them to new skills. The Teapot Trust children’s charity uses art therapy as a way of helping young people cope with long-term medical conditions. Art therapy provides a way of expressing and dealing with feelings.
- Cracking Campaign: #IncludED In the Main?! – ENABLE Scotland
IncludED in the Main is a national conversation about the reality of educational experiences for young people in Scotland who have learning disabilities. Through this campaign, ENABLE Scotland set out to listen to amplify the voices of over 800 young people who have learning disabilities, as well as their parents and teachers.
- Pioneering Project: C-change Scotland –dates-n-mates
Dates-n-mates is Scotland’s national dating and friendship agency run by and for adults with learning disabilities. The aim of the project is improving member’s well-being and quality of life by reducing social isolation, improving confidence, improving self-esteem and creating opportunities for individuals. On receiving the award, Sheryl Walker, PR & Projects Development Manager said: “The recognition is very important to the dates-n-mates Scotland project and would not have been possible without the support of the dates-n-mates teams, partners and members”.
- Celebrating Communities – Dunaverty Hall Committee
The Committee is committed to working for their community, giving up many hours of their time to improve the lifestyle and conditions tor Southend residents and providing them with a safe, warm place to enjoy leisure activities. The group has also addressed issues in the community such as isolation, lack of facilities and social interaction.
- Terrific Trustee: Bobath Scotland
Bobath Scotland was founded in 1995 by a group of parents who fundraised and campaigned tirelessly to bring the service to Scotland. Since then, the charity has grown and developed, both in the services that they can provide and the number of people they are able to help.
- Demonstrating Digital: Drake Music Scotland
They believe everyone should have an equal opportunity to make music and is the nation’s leading disability music organisation. Their vision is to transform people’s live through the power of music. They are playing a role in making Scotland a place where ground-breaking new music featuring skilled musicians and composers with disabilities comes alive for everyone. Among other things, they reshape the definition of musicians, musical instruments and ensembles, building momentum as the country’s centre of expertise in inclusive music technologies.
- People’s Choice Award: Gordon’s Fightback – MND Scotland
Gordon Aikman died of Motor Neurone Disease in February after a three year battle with the condition. He was a campaigner fighting to cure MND and raised over 600.00 pounds towards finding a cure and doubling the number of NHS- funded MN nurses in Scotland. Lawrence Cowan, Chair of MND Scotland, said: “I miss Gordon everyday. It’s wonderful that Gordon’s achievements have been celebrated with this award. What the Gordon’s Fightback campaign has achieved is remarkable”.