Introducing the Inspiring Aberdeenshire Finalists

A shortlist of 30 finalists across 10 categories has been released for this year’s Inspiring Aberdeenshire awards. The awards recognise and celebrate the work and achievements of residents and council staff across Aberdeenshire.

Finalists include the volunteers who keep sports clubs playing, volunteers and staff who care for the elderly and vulnerable, and those who have helped settle our new ‘Syrian Scots’.

Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said: “The Inspiring Aberdeenshire awards are a great opportunity to recognise the work of those who make a difference to the lives of their whole communities. Finalists include those who raise money for charity and those that ensure young people have a voice in decision-making, as well as those that bring music to our children and communitees.

“Personally, I like to think that the Inspiring Aberdeenshire awards highlight the achievements of the people who ‘quietly get on’ and work to make the lives of others better and help to make Aberdeenshire the wonderful place to live that it is.

“I wish everyone the best for the ceremony on the 23rd June and am looking forward to learning more about them all and the work they do.”

The annual event is in its fifth year and is organised by Aberdeenshire Council. The winners will be announced at a ceremony taking place at Haddo House on Friday, June 23, 2017.

List of categories and finalists

Best of Garioch 
Jade McWilliam – Fundraiser and Britain’s smallest open heart surgery survivor
SensationALL – Support and services for individuals with learning disabilities and their families
The Amal Project – Syrian New Scots contributing to their community

Best of Kincardine and Mearns

South Aberdeenshire Music Centre – Inspiring musicians and encouraging talent
Adam Howie – Member of the council’s refuse team who strives to make his community a brighter place
Christina and Shannon Polson – Twin sisters going above and beyond in their community

Best of Marr

James Gordon – 90 year old volunteer who helped set up the Grampian Transport Museum
Aberdeenshire North Foodbank – Provides emergency food relief to struggling individuals and families
Networks of Wellbeing – Supporting the people of Huntly in maintaining their mental health and wellbeing

Best of Buchan

William and Margaret McRobbie – Finalists last year. Light up the village and raise money for St Combs Primary School every year with their Christmas nights
MASA Club (Minds Applying STEM Activities) – Introducing children to science and technology in rural communities
Arch24 – 24hr responders for Care at Home

Best of Banff and Buchan

Anne McArthur – Scottish Country Dance teacher for over 40 years
Norman Whyte – “Every sheltered housing scheme should have a Norman”
Invercairn Community Support – Runs one of the most successful galas in the North East

Best of Formartine

Peter Scarlett – Joiner, using his skills to help train people with learning difficulties
Turriff Academy Cleaning Team – Keeps the school sparkly
Jay Allan – Runs the Ythan View in Methlick and volunteers in the community

Young Leader

Cherry Hudson – 17 year old community volunteer in Alford
Connor Smith – 16 year old volunteer with the Banchory Boys Football Club, awarded Saltire award for 500 hours of volunteering
Aberdeenshire Youth Council – Campaigning group ensuring young people’s voices are heard

Outstanding Leader

Christine McLennan – Works tirelessly with the Pupil Participation Forum across Aberdeenshire’s secondary schools
Katie MacLean – For her work with the Syria Partnership Group
Roisin Steele – Banff Academy teacher who led a team of rowers to World Championship medal success

Pupil Voice

Rhyes Johnstone – Pupil at Glenbervie Primary School who helped to replant the school garden after Storm Frank, all the while grieving for his grandfather MSP Alex Johnstone.
Jonathan Edwards – S2 Pupil at Banff Academy who has been battling a brain tumour since 2011 and has raised thousands of pounds for sick children
Isaac Bacon – Pupil at Inverurie Academy who has represented the school on the Pupil Participation Forum and is the Inverurie Rotary ‘Young Musician of the Year ‘

Doric Award

Monymusk Primary School – Learning Doric as one of their additional languages and writing their own Doric Dictionary ‘Hud it Chappin’
Nom Wright – Keeping Doric Alive writing the front piece for the ‘Insch Insider’
Sandy May – Leading Light of the Buchan Heritage and involved in Heirskip Magazine