Read a little bit about this years Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards 2016 finalists…

Celebrating those who are passionate about the arts. This award honours people who make a difference to their local community by sharing their time or creations.

Estelle Maskame – Peterhead, Aberdeenshire

Author Estelle Maskame has gained more than 4 million fans around the world with her stories of teenage romance set in America. Her ‘Did I Mention I Love You?’ trilogy tells the story of Eden and Tyler, a Portland girl and Santa Monica boy who fall in love. At just 18, Estelle is already being compared to JK Rowling, after her online novel went viral.

Mohsen Amini – Southpark, Glasgow

When it comes to traditional Scottish music, Mohsen Amini is the concertina king. He made history in January when he became the first squeeze box player to be crowned BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

Katie Slavin – Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire

When Katie was a child, she had such a bad stammer she was afraid to speak
Drama classes helped Katie Slavin build her confidence. She now helps other children fulfil their potential, Katie set up a theatre company for kids and young adults with additional support needs.


This award recognises young people who help others lead a healthier lifestyle or support their community to deal with issues such as alcohol, drug abuse or mental health issues.

Jenny Cook – Stewartfield, East Kilbride

After having her bowel removed aged just five “Wee Jenny” became determined to improve life for fellow sufferers of Ulcerative Colitis. Seven years on, she has raised an incredible £111,000 for Yorkhill Hospital Children’s Charity and the Catherine McEwan Foundation Crohn’s charity.

Aislin Smith – Pollok, Glasgow

Teenager Aislin cheated death and has taught herself to walk and talk again and is now raising awareness of the rare brain disease which almost killed her. The St Paul’s High School pupil is helping The Encephalitis Society raise funds and identify the symptoms of the illness.

Betus Crew Young Volunteers – across Scotland

The Betus Crew came together last year with the aim of improving the lives of all young people with Type 1 diabetes in Scotland. The seven-strong group led the design and promotion of the country’s first ever event organised specifically for young people living with the condition.

Scotland has a wide range of cultures that help make it a diverse and exciting place to live. This award recognises young people who raise awareness of culture or speak out against inequalities in their community.

Aminah Din – Newton Mearns, Glasgow

Aminah is one of Scotland’s most promising female footballers and has been pivotal in inspiring and coaching other Asian girls who have a passion for the game.

Jai NicAllen – Dundee

Jai campaigns on transgender issues and is an advocate for trans people living in their hometown of Dundee. Jai took a leading role in setting up a Facebook community group called Dundee Trans Collective, which brings together trans people from across the city to share experiences, events, and opportunities.

Airdrie Independent Youth Group – North Lanarkshire

This group of young people with additional support needs have been instrumental in encouraging other youngsters and teenagers coping with disabilities to become involved in youth work.

This award recognises someone who goes the extra mile every day but never asks for any recognition or reward, someone who has overcome difficult circumstances or risen to a challenge and achieved something in the face of adversity.

Brynja Duthi – Cupar, Fife

After losing a number of close people in her life, Brynja has raised thousands of pounds for various charities supporting numerous causes.

Keira Rutherford – Isle of Bute

Rothesay Primary pupil Keira dedicates her time to raising money for good causes. During the past five years, she has raised £2500 for various charities including Erskine and the British Heart Foundation by holding raffles, sponsored walks, table top sales and even selling her own toys.

Kayley Carmichael – Glasgow

Kayley was a normal teenager who enjoyed going out with her friends, spending time with her family and caring for others. At the age of 15, she unexpectedly fell pregnant to her long-term boyfriend. She had her little boy, Tommy, and she continued with her studies, getting up for the night feeds and juggling going to school and taking care of her child whilst also volunteering at her local dance school. Kayley got a part-time job to help make ends meet, and has worked so hard she has now secured a conditional offer for Teaching at Glasgow University.

These young people all give their time and effort to help protect the world for future generations. The award covers all types of green issues from recycling and global sustainability to ecology.

Junior Climate Challenge Fund Grant Panel, across Scotland

This youth panel have been busy advising the Scottish Government about which environmental projects around Scotland deserve funding. The seven-strong group have awarded £900,000 of funding to 13 inspirational youth-led projects taking local action on climate change.

Callum Ullman-Smith – Kyle of Lochalsh, Ross-shire

Callum is a conservationist and newt enthusiast who spends his spare time helping to preserve the coastal environment around his Lochalsh home.

Jonathan Rainey – Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire

Jonathan, who has high-functioning Autism, is a litter-picking maverick who spends all his spare time keeping his local area sitting pretty.

This award celebrates those special people who give up their time and energy free of charge to help other people. This little bit of effort can make a huge difference to many causes.

Alistair Stewart – Edinburgh

After experiencing a rough time at home and at school Alistair helps improve the lives of other young people in care in Scotland and has spoken at conferences, advising professionals about how to enhance the care system.

Alice Bowman – Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross

Last year, trainee office worker Alice travelled to Cambodia to volunteer at a home for men and boys with mental and physical disabilities, some suffering HIV.

Natasha Kerr – Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

Natasha embodies what volunteering is all about – delivering 800 hours of mental and physical health activities in East Ayrshire every year.

This award celebrates people who, through their hard efforts and determination, have achieved the extraordinary in sport. And it’s not just for those who excel in their chosen sport. It could be someone who spends their free time training others in a sport they love.

Gordon Reid – Helensburgh

Gordon Reid has battled through struggles to become the Australian Open wheelchair tennis champion for 2016.

Shaun Alderman – Shetland

Shaun has been fencing since he was six years old and was first selected for Scotland at 16, when he was made captain of the men’s foil team at the UK school games and has also represented Scotland at the Junior Commonwealth Games.

Katrina Carr – Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire

Katrina, who started her taekwondo journey aged eight, is a 2nd Degree Blackbelt who competes internationally with the Scotland Team and has won 2 ITF World Silver Sparring Medals and 3 ITF European Champion Sparring Titles.

A special award honouring very special young people who have shown amazing courage or carried out an incredible act of bravery.

Lee McGinley – Calton, Glasgow

Lee, who has Down’s syndrome, is a real-life hero who saved his mum and brother when their home caught fire last year.

Calvin Nilsen-Barnes – Troon, South Ayrshire

At just two weeks old, Calvin suffered a brain haemorrhage and doctors told his family that his chances of survival were 50-50 but he fought his way back and he has been touching the hearts of everyone he meets since he was a baby.

Cameron and Duncan Hendry – Balquhidder, Stirlingshire

When the boys’ dad, Dave, died of a heart attack on Christmas day, 2014, Cameron quit school and postponed his dreams of college and travelling the world, to take on the running of the family farm in the Stirlingshire hills. Within hours of his father’s death, the brave teenager was out on the land tending to the animals, determined not to let mum Marianne and younger brother Duncan lose the livelihood their beloved dad had worked so hard to build up. The 18-year-old, who is incredibly resilient and mature for
his age, couldn’t have done it all without the help of Duncan, who is still at school and hoping to become a vet.

There are so many ways to entertain. Song, dance, comedy, writing. This award is not just for the famous but for the stars in our midst who entertain us every day.

Jack Lowden – Oxton, East Lothian

The Scots actor, who has been praised for his performance as Russian Nikolai Rostov in BBC drama War and Peace, got his big break in an Irn-Bru advert when he was 18.

Cherry Campbell – Jordanhill, Glasgow

When she was nine years old, Cherry Campbell became the youngest ever winner of a BAFTA award for her role as bubbly Katie Morag in the hit CBeebies show. The schoolgirl won the Best Performer award for her title role in the series based on the bestselling books by Mhairi Hedderwick.

Flora Shedden – Dunkeld, Perth & Kinross

The 19-year-old former gallery assistant is the youngest contestant ever to make it to the semi-finals of the Great British Bake Off. Her success in the baking programme prompted her to give up her Art History studies at St Andrews University to concentrate on writing a cook book, which is due out later this year.

This award is for future entrepreneurs, someone who has demonstrated real flair and has used this passion to help growth and sustainability in their local community.

Michael Harkins – Livingston

The Heriot Watt student has created Turtle Pack – an innovative flotation device that he believes will revolutionise the “learn to swim” market. Michael, who is studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry, has won several awards for his innovative shell-shaped swimming stabiliser, which reduces in buoyancy as the swimmer’s confidence and coordination improves.

Zack Griffin – Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire

The Eastwood High School pupil runs Teens 2 Go, a company that gives teenagers who excel in specific subject areas the opportunity to earn money sharing their expertise with fellow pupils and members of the community. The budding entrepreneur set up Teens 2 Go with £1000 donated by Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones.

Finlay Macdonald – Glenshiel, Kyle of Lochalsh

The teenager runs luxury chocolate business Chocolates of Glenshiel from his Highland home and sells his soft-centred confectionary at local trade fairs, in school and online. Finlay set up his tasty enterprise three years ago after doing work experience in a local hotel, where he discovered a passion for all things chocolate.



An award for a young person who has overcome adversity or disadvantage to excel in their school, college or university. They may have overcome ill health, dealt with being in care, coped with being a carer or will have shown exceptional dedication and enthusiasm despite their challenges.

Ryan Thorne – Toryglen, Glasgow

The Holyrood Secondary pupil is one of seven children and he and his twin brother are the first in their family to sit SQA exams and progress to fifth year. Ryan, who is a young carer, has applied for an apprenticeship with Morgan Stanley and has been offered places at several universities to read accountancy and business.

Craig McHugh – Cowdenbeath, Fife

When Craig’s mum passed away, he had to grow up quickly and settled into a role of joint carer for his two younger brothers and as a pillar of support for his dad. Craig has worked hard to create his own opportunities, achieving top grades.

Chelsea Douglas – Dumfries

Suffering from cerebral palsy, Chelsea has pushed through her disability to not only benefit herself but also the community. The 22-year-old computer whizz was offered a job with software giant Hewlett-Packard in Renfrewshire after graduating with a first class honours degree from the University of the West of Scotlandcomm

This award celebrates the work accomplished by a young person who improves the lives of people within a community. They may have demonstrated good citizenship by influencing decision-making at local government level, participating in local action, or anything else that has made a huge difference for others in their community.

Hannah Clews – Aberdeen

Hannah works for the Denis Law Legacy Trust’s Streetsport programme, which provides free sport and creativity sessions in some of Aberdeen’s most deprived areas. Hannah co-ordinates and leads teams of volunteers who go into these communities and help run free doorstep sport and creativity sessions. Statistics show that the work she helps co-ordinate has helped drop anti-social behaviour by almost 80 per cent in one of Aberdeen’s hardest-hit areas.

Greg Luczak – Dunfermline, Fife

Greg was just 11 years old when he came to Scotland from Poland in 2011 and didn’t speak a word of English. Fast-forward five years and he has become the heart and soul of his community. As well as being a leader with the Scouts, Beavers and youth club, he is also a valued member of his local basketball club and spends a lot of his spare time helping other young Polish children integrate into the area.

Pilmeny Youth Centre’s ‘Remembering the Leith Battalion’ Project – Edinburgh

A group of pupils from Leith Academy played a key role in Pilmeny Youth Centre’s project to commemorate the casualties of the Quintinshill Rail Disaster of 1915. The train crash at 6.50am on May 22 killed 216 of the Leith-based 7th Battalion the Royal Scots Territorial Force, who were heading to Liverpool before sailing for the front line at Gallipoli. Last year marked the 100th anniversary and the project, spearheaded by the young people, highlighted the tragedy that robbed Leith of a whole generation of men.