On Thursday the 6th of December 2018, the official closing event for Dumfries & Galloway’s Year of Young People took place at Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries. The closing event included the first annual Dumfries and Galloway Youth Awards which celebrated the talents, achievements and personalities of young people across Dumfries and Galloway.
The awards evening was attended by over 400 people, including young people from all parts of Dumfries & Galloway, their nominators and families, MSP’s and local Elected Members. A gala dinner was held alongside dance shows and live performances from local young people, culminating in the awards ceremony.
For the 2018 National Year of Young People, the award categories have been founded upon the Year’s key themes. The finalists and winners in each award category are as follows:
Health and Wellbeing Award
- Alistair & David Stuart
- Cameron Hunter
- Megan Gourlay, Liam Stenton and Lewis Houston
- Maisie Anderson
And the winner of the Health & Wellbeing Award went to Maisie Anderson. Maisie was diagnosed in 2014 suddenly with type 1 diabetes and was very ill. She bounced back and has since been tirelessly campaigning for a skin sensor called a Freestyle Libre to be accessible to all Type 1 Diabetics in Dumfries and Galloway. With countless Scottish parliament meetings and committe meetings, letters, emails and speeches Maisie has been instrumental in the decision from the Scottish Government to allow this technology to be available on an NHS prescription.
- Aiden Taylor
- Sophie Blair
- Brodie Davidson
The winner of the Participation Award went to Sophie Blair. Sophie is only 16 years old and yet she has already taken part in more than 500 hours of volunteering. She started volunteering in 2017 after becoming involved with youth services as a young person. Since then she has volunteered at over 10 different projects ensuring that the voices of young people are listened to, respected and acted upon in both local and national decisions. Recently, she has become a Year of Young People Champion and has dedicated her time to ensuring that young people are at the centre of all YOYP related events across the region. Through this she has engaged with young people from marginalised backgrounds ensuring that they have their voices heard. Sophie is more than just a volunteer, she goes above and beyond acting as a role model for everyone she meets.
Equality and Discrimination Award
- Michael Gowan
- Will Wallace
- Super Mondays
The winner of the Equality & Discrimination Award went to Michael Gowan. The wide variety of volunteering opportunities Michael has been involved in demonstrates his passion and commitment to promoting equality, challenging discrimination and supporting his community to overcome barriers. By using his experiences and his disability, he has been an advocate locally and nationally, and his involvement in representing DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY at a national level will benefit people in the region for years to come. His personal strength in using his own experiences to help support others is a real inspiration.
- Kate Kyle
- Oli Hagmann
- Paula Herries School of Dance
- Jazmin Cain & Asia Fairnie
The winner of the Culture Award goes to Kate Kyle. At only 16 years old, Kate Kyle has already developed an intensive performance repertoire of her own compositions, performing her own unique blend of soulful country mixed with gentle folk. Kate performs regularly at gigs and events locally, performing at events such as Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, For the First Minister at the launch of ‘Year of the Young People’, Celtic Connections in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall and the Hidden Door Festival in Edinburgh. Kate also performs regularly at Youth Beatz and in the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival. Kate was recently named the Maiden of Music 2018 and is currently recording her first EP with she is co-producing.
Enterprise and Regeneration Award
- Summerhill Youth Project Committee
- Young Hands
- D&G Arts Festival’s Young Promoters Group
The winner of the Enterprise and Regeneration Award went to Summerhill Youth Project Committee. Throughout 2018, the Summerhill Youth Project Committee have led on many projects under their Environmental Umbrella Theme. They are youth volunteers between 12-24 years old who have recruited adult volunteers to help co-facilitate not only the nightly youth activities at Summerhill Community Centre but to also help manage and maintain their surrounding environment on a daily basis. They actively encourage the Summerhill community to be more aware, address environmental issues and to look after their area. Overall the Youth Project committee have had a real positive impact on their local environment and have really enhanced the local area. They continue to work hard on their outdoors projects, encourage others and also plan for future projects
- Inspiring STEM women
- Shannon Murphy
- Kyle Murray
- Anton Simpson
The winner of the Education Award went to Kyle Murray. Kyle did not have the best experience of school, with many things out of his control. This all changed when he began to regularly attend groups with in the Oasis Youth Centre. Kyle is now Chair of Dumfries and Galloways Champions Board. A role he put himself forward for and would never of done a year ago. Through this role he is actively making a difference for looked after and care experienced young people right across Dumfries & Galloway. Kyle not only concerns himself with issue that face him, he looks at the bigger picture and wants to help others.
Dumfries and Galloway’s Unsung Hero
- Damola Samuel
- Matthew Rolfe
- Sophie Blair
The Unsung Hero award was presented to Damola Samuel. Through her volunteering work within a number of different organisations and services within Dumfries, Dami is having a huge impact in tackling poverty and ensuring people get the help and support they need, when they need it. Dami takes strength from her own personal circumstances and uses this to help others. Dami is a positive role model to her peers and is well-liked and cared for by the people around her. Some of the work Dami has been involved in with the Anti-Poverty Team has recently become nationally recognised, winning a COSLA award which demonstrates the impact and importance that volunteers have within their communities. Dami is an incredibly inspiring young woman with a huge heart and unbelievable strength whose kindness and genuinely caring nature could change the world.
Youth Worker of the Year
- Regan Jackson
- Lynsey White
- Emily Davies
The Youth Worker of the Year Award went to Lynsey White. Lynsey White has touched the lives of many young people in her role as youth worker with Youth Enquiry Service at Dumfries and Galloway Council. The young people she works with describes her as kind hearted, caring and as someone who is willing to go above and beyond to help anyone who needs it. Lynsey’s role includes providing one to one support with young people experiencing poor mental health and her empathetic and understanding nature serves her well in her role. The young people who nominated her said receiving this award would be their way of showing her how much they appreciate everything she does for them.
On the night, a live vote was held in order to vote for Dumfries and Galloway’s Young Person of the Year, a category devised of the winners of each award (excluding Youth Worker of the Year).
The overall winner went to: Dumfries and Galloway Young Person of the Year: Maisie Anderson.
Councillor Adam Wilson, Dumfries and Galloway’s Young People’s Champion said:
Councillor Adam Wilson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Young People’s Champion said, “Our first Youth Awards was a great success and I would like to congratulate all of the winners. The judging panel had a difficult decision as over a hundred excellent nominations were submitted.
Although this marks the end of the Year of Young People 2018 for Dumfries and Galloway it is important to focus on our legacy of the year. Our legacy from the year will see a renewed focus on youth empowerment which is why we will establish our region’s first ever Youth Council and hold an Annual Youth Awards event to mark the achievements and contribution of our young people.”
Year of Young People Project Team Treasurer Hannah Birse said “Year of Young People has provided so many young people from across our region with opportunities and experiences to develop their confidence, skills, meet new people and raise their aspirations. For me, it has been the best experience of my life!”
Special thanks to LEADER, National Lottery- Young Start and The Crichton Campus who fully funded the awards evening.