Joined: 13 Feb 2006
|Posted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 7:58 am Post subject: Caring and selfless young Scots are honoured in Diana awards
|Caring and selfless young Scots are honoured in Diana awards ceremony
YOUNG Scots who have made outstanding contributions to their communities were yesterday honoured in the first Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Award ceremony held in Scotland.
First Minister Jack McConnell praised the youngsters for their selfless voluntary work as he handed out the awards during the event at Glasgow's Govan High School.
Among those recognised was 17-year-old football fanatic Carly Scott. The teenager spends most of her spare time running sports clubs - including a group of 30 boys - both in schools and her local town.
Carly, of Johnstone High School, organises a breakfast and lunchtime sports club for a local primary school, trains the junior and senior football teams in the evenings and still finds time to help younger pupils in maths classes.
Speaking after collecting her award, she said it was sometimes difficult for teenagers to overcome negative stereotypes and do something for others.
Carly said: "Often people look down at teenagers and all you hear are bad things, but I have met loads of young people at the ceremony who spend their time doing something positive. I was so pleased to get an award. I just really enjoy what I do in my spare time."
Others honoured at the ceremony included a group of eight children from Chapelgreen Primary School, Kilsyth, who spend their lunchtimes watching over their peers.
The pupils, aged ten and 11, received the Diana Anti-Bullying Award for their work as playground monitors.
Margaret Miller, 17, of Clyde Valley High School, Wishaw, was given an award for helping younger pupils in literacy, reading and confidence-building classes.
The teenager, who spends time with first-year pupils and acting as a positive role model, said she was delighted to receive the award from Mr McConnell.
Margaret said: "I was completely taken aback to be nominated.
"This sort of thing is something I have always done because my mum used to be involved in voluntary work and this is just a continuation. People don't always fully understand why you are doing it. We have been trying to promote it.
"It just makes you feel good to help other people. We help improve pupils' confidence when they have just started at a new school."
The awards were set up by the government in 1999 in memory of the late Princess Diana. Aimed at young people aged between 12 and 18, there are now more than 12,000 holders of the award across the UK, including more than 750 Scots.
Govan High School received special recognition for producing a string of youngsters dedicated to helping others. Headteacher Iain White said: "We have been involved in a number of different kind of initiatives.
"These awards centre around young people actively involved in helping the local community, particularly those who are having to persevere in difficult circumstances."
Maggie Turner, director of the awards, said they had been greeted with huge enthusiasm in Scotland: "It's so important as it acknowledges exceptional young people who do amazing things without seeking any reward.
"It's non-academic, non competitive, it reaches out to young unsung heroes of every culture, ability and circumstance who display exceptional qualities."
Speaking from the ceremony, Mr McConnell said: "Congratulations to the young people recognised here.
"They have all made a tremendous contribution to the lives of others. But these young Scots don't put in huge amounts of time and effort simply to receive awards. They do it because they are determined, community-minded, caring and courageous.
"They are exactly the type of people who will help make Scotland a better place to live for generations to come."
Diana, Princess of Wales is and always will be The People's Princess.