SCVO media release
5 June 2015
For immediate release

Charities and people right across the country have been recognised for the contribution they make to life in Scotland at the 2015 Scottish Charity Awards which took place at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh tonight (4 June).

Shulah Allan, Convener of Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), which organises the awards, said:

“This year’s finalists and winners work tirelessly to support vulnerable people in our communities and to raise awareness of important causes. They really have earned this
moment in the spotlight.”

Glasgow-based charityMND Scotland has been named Charity of the Year and winner of the People’s Choice award following 18,000 votes being cast by members of the public.

Craig Stockton, Chief Executive, MND Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to win this prestigious award in what’s been a phenomenal year for us. The ice bucket challenge took the world by storm and brought MND awareness into gardens, parks and iPhones across the country.

“MND campaigner Gordon Aikman helped secure public funding for MND nurses – and double the current number of existing nurses. Fernando Ricksen showed huge courage in opening up about how MND has affected him. We would like to dedicate this award to the fantastic supporters, volunteers and staff who give up their time and talents to improve the lives of those affected – and help us work towards a world without MND.”

Beith Community Development Trust in North Ayrshire has won the Celebrating Communities award for its efforts to improve the mental and physical fitness of the community.

Alex Macfie, Development Manager at Beith Community Development Trust, said:

We are accepting the award on behalf of the local people in Beith who have worked so hard to make things happen. It is great to be acknowledged and recognised for all of the work that takes place. It wouldn’t be possible without our hardworking staff and volunteers and the on-going support of the local community.

Matthew McVarish, age 32, from Lanarkshire has been named Charity Champion for his dedication to ending the silence around child sexual abuse. Working in partnership with the Moira Anderson Foundation, an Airdrie-based charity which supports people affected by childhood sexual abuse, Matthew walked 10,000 miles around Europe, raising awareness of child sexual abuse among millions of people. He has been invited by the Council of Europe to give advice on legislative reform across 47 countries.

Matthew said:

“In many countries, those who speak out against the sexual abuse of children are ignored but here we celebrate them. Winning this award makes me proud to be Scottish, as it confirms that we are a nation who are ready to discuss the problem that most don’t want to talk about. It’s why we’re called Scotland the brave.”

Prostate Cancer UK has won the Cracking Campaign award for Men United v Prostate Cancer: 5 Inequalities, 5 Solutions campaign to make Scotland a better place for the 1 in 8 men who are affected by prostate cancer.

Alistair Haw, Campaigns & Media Manager at Prostate Cancer UK, said:

“Men United is our movement to beat prostate cancer and keep friendships alive. Winning this award is a fully deserved tribute to the efforts of everyone involved in this ongoing campaign, not least of all the 1 in 8 men who develop the disease, and our inspirational volunteers and Men United supporters who have been so instrumental to our successes so far.”

The Perfect Partnership award has gone to Scottish Huntington’s Association and the University of Stirlingfor the creation of the world’s first accredited course for health and social care staff to improve their knowledge and confidence to care for people with Huntington’s disease.

John Eden, CEO, Scottish Huntington’s Association, said:

“It has been a profoundly rewarding experience to be a finalist with Stirling University in this year’s SCVO awards, but all the more so to become winners and be recognised by the voluntary sector community in Scotland. Our primary motivation for entering the awards was to help raise awareness of Huntington’s disease. There are still so many people who live under the shadow of silence of this genetic condition and it is our hope that this award will help to gain recognition of the challenges they face as well as the incredible efforts by the Huntington’s community to combat this illness. We are deeply grateful to the university for their commitment to making this CPD program work so well”

Louise McCabe, Senior Lecturer at the University of Stirling, said:

“We are very pleased to win this award, it has been a pleasure working with the Scottish Huntington’s Association and my thanks go to them, my colleagues at the University and the families and people with Huntington’s disease who helped inspire and guide us.”

Glasgow-based Visibility’s Digital Participation Project has been named winner of the Digital Dynamo Award for its work to address low take-up of technology among people with visual impairments.

Sarah Quinn, Marketing Officer at Visibility, said:

“We are extremely thrilled to win this award. We would like to thank our wonderful service users, local businesses and individuals who voted for us, as well as all of our dedicated volunteers and staff because without them all it would not have been possible.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is the national membership body representing the interests of charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The Scottish third sector turns over £4.9 billion a year and employs 138,000 people in over 45,000 organisations.
  2. The Scottish Charity Awards are organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and recognise the life-changing work of charities, community groups and heroes right across Scotland.
  3. For any media queries, please call Charlotte McNeill at SCVO on 07790 601 995