Meet our inspirational Young Scot Awards 2015 finalists!


Ross Gunning, 20, Clarkston, Glasgow

Conductor Ross is the driving behind Glasgow Philharmonia Orchestra. A student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, he joined the national Children’s Orchestra of Scotland, going on to play with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the national Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, with whom he appeared on BBC TV as part of the 2012 Proms.

He joined River City star Tom Urie to record mother Glasgow to raise money for the victims of the George Square bin lorry crash.

Claire Hastings, 25, Holywood, Dumfries

Traditional Scottish singer Claire won BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician for 2015. She spent 18 months travelling accompanied by her trusty ukulele. On her return, Claire was accepted on to the prestigious Live Music Now Festival and has performed at many music festivals.

She also sings in a duo and in new all-girl folk band Top Floor Taivers.

Hey, I’m Alive! (Jordan McKinley, Will Stringer, Jenny McCraw, Colleen Garrett and Christie Russell-Brown), 18-21, Edinburgh

Jordan has cystic fibrosis and the group wanted to create a performance about the impact of living with CF on a young person, their friends and family. Performers were set inside giant zorbs to highlight how CF isolates a sufferer. Hey, I’m Alive! previewed as part of Arches Live and sold out.



Clydebank Teenagers, 16-17

Sixty pupils from St Peter the Apostle High School gave up their Saturday nights for most of last year and volunteered at two of Scotland’s homeless shelters. The pupils teamed up with The Mother Teresa Missionaries in Pollok and the Salvation Army in Glasgow’s Gallowgate.

Michael Gowan, 20, Summerhill, Dumfries

A volunteer youth leader and youth project treasurer, Michael helps with activities four nights a week at his local community centre. Last year he became one of the four trustees managing Summerhill Community Centre in Dumfries. He also works part-time and is an active member of the LGBT National Youth Council.

Recharge Youth Managers, 15-16, Tranent, East Lothian

This group have been involved in fundraising events, gala days, Christmas fairs, Truth about Youth, Joining Generations, residentials, Walk with Scot, the Safe Drive Stay Alive road show, bag packing, Commonwealth Games events and many more.



Ryan Ledgerwood, 17, Glasgow

In care since he was a toddler, Ryan has lived in 13 care homes. He uses his tough life experiences to help other vulnerable young people. After leaving school early, Ryan started volunteering with Penilee Community Centre. Over the past few years, he has carried out more than 1080 hours of volunteering.

Lauren Strain, 18, Coatbridge, Lanarkshire

Lauren has become a guardian angel to innocent women prisoners of Malawi after she secured the release of three of them while on a charity visit there. She has raised more than £12,000 in the past three years and regularly visits the country to distribute funds and supplies.

Scott Sutherland, 22, Glasgow

In 2011, Scott was involved in a hit-and run incident and left for dead. During six months in hospital and years of recovery from damage to his brain, Scott hid from the world. He did a 12-week personal development course with the Prince’s Trust and is now one of their ambassadors, helping other vulnerable young people.



Charlie’s Plot, 10-14, Methilhill, Fife

These young people formed Charlie’s Plot in October 2013 to tackle the effects of climate change in their hometown by getting the community planting.

They requested a space in Methilhill Community Learning Garden and Learning Garden and started growing fruit and vegetables.

Next year they plan to develop child-friendly books and a video to teach schools and nurseries about climate change.

Ryan Harris, 24, Maryhill, Glasgow

Ryan is an environmental crusader who, despite being homeless, is determined to make his community beautiful for the local residents. He has been instrumental in setting up the Pot Of Soup project, where volunteers turned a disused concrete space into a vegetable garden. Ryan, who has been homeless since 17, recycles old items for use in the garden, plants vegetables for healthy meals and has set up a composting area. He also works at a local group who fix bikes by recycling parts from old bicycles.

Christopher Linton, 22, Montrose, Angus

Chris is a volunteer with the National Trust for Scotland in the gardens at House of Dun, Montrose. The green fingered youth spends more than 30 hours a week helping maintain the grounds and recently completed a full-time volunteering Placement supported by ProjectScotland.

Head gardener Russell Shanks receives many positive comments about the gardens and says standards would not be so high without Chris’s help.



Ahmed Ibrahim, 23, Glasgow

Scottish Muay Thai boxing champ Ahmed arrived in Glasgow from Kenya 12 years ago and lived most of his teenage years in foster care. Now the BBU Scottish Welterweight Champion, he plans to set up a gym to introduce more young people. from ethnic minority communities to sport.

Puneet Puri, 21, Whiteinch, Glasgow

Law student Puneet is a successful bhangra dancer with the Miss Punjabeez dance group. They have performed at events all over the country. She has been involved in the Glasgow Mela and conducted workshops in universities to promote inclusiveness between cultures. She used to host her own show on Awaz FM.



Amy Clark, 15, Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire

Rhythmic gymnast Amy will be flying the flag for Great Britain in the World Special Olympics in Los Angeles this July. The teen, who has Down’s syndrome, started doing gymnastics when she was five and has been competing ever since.

Amy took home five silver medals and one gold in the Special Olympics National Games in Bath in August 2013.

Erraid Davies, 14, Skeld, Shetland

No one will forget Erraid’s smile when she claimed bronze in the women’s 100m breaststroke at Glasgow 2014. At 13, she became the Commonwealth Games’ youngest ever medallist and images of her beaming face were relayed round the world.

Barely able to walk at the age of four, Erraid, who has Perthes disease which causes problems in her hip bones and joints, was encouraged to take up swimming. She went from strength to strength in the pool and was able to swim a mile before the age of six.

Lynsey Sharp, 24, Edinburgh

Lynsey is one of Scotland’s top athletes and her silver medal in the 800m will go down as one of the stand-out moments of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She was ill the night before her race and ended up in hospital on a drip. But after just a few hours’ sleep, she competed and brought the Hampden roof off with her unexpected glory dash.

Lynsey ran with the words “get out, strong, commit” written on her hand. Her emotional outpouring at the finish line won her the hearts of the nation.



Eubha Akilade, 16, Cathcart, Glasgow

Eubha was ready to take up a place at the Dance School of Scotland when she got a call that changed her life. She is now playing Lily Watson now playing Lily Watson in CBBC series Eve, a sci-fi series about a robot trying to pretend she’s a real teenage girl.

Iain Henderson, 20, Mansewood, Glasgow

The Cardonald College student’s three-minute film about what makes Glasgow great was screened at the opening Ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and seen by millions of people.

Iain had just gained his HND in TV operations when he entered his student film in a competition for the Games launch.

Keira Lucchesi, 25, Cardonald, Glasgow

One of Scotland’s top young actresses, Keira plays Stella Walker in BBC Scotland’s River City. With no formal training, she joined the show in 2009 and is now one of the best-loved characters.



Mark Flood, 18, Newton Mearns, Glasgow

When Mark was 14, he suffered a massive stroke which left him unable to walk, speak properly or feed himself. While in hospital, he was introduced to mediCinema, a charity who put on movies for patients. Mark realised just how important films are in helping people to recover from illness and, at 17, he founded his company Mark Flood Animations Ltd, who are based in Glasgow. They now employ former Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Sullivan Bluth Studios animators from around the world.

Aleena Lippiatt, 26, Shettleston, Glasgow

Aleena took a leap of faith opening her fashion shop in an area where there isn’t an established clothes shopping culture. She runs Aleena’s Boutique eight hours a day, six days a week, and participates in fashion shows and photoshoots three evenings a week.

From texting customers to inform them of new stock to modelling her latest styles on Facebook, Aleena has her finger on the fashion button and has even sold her clothes to the stars of TOWIE.

Emma McDonald, 24, Peebles, Borders

When she left school at 15 with no qualifications, mum-of-one Emma never dreamt she would be running her own florist business.  She started her firm Stems in 2012 with £4000 of grants and loans from The Prince’s Trust.  Last year, she scooped the Florist Of The Year title at the Scottish Wedding Awards.



Patrick Kiehlmann, 11, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow

Patrick raised £5000 for charity by cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats. He had life threatening complications after appendicitis in 2012 and was treated in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Yorkhill. He wanted to say thank you for his care so in 2014 he raised money for the hospital by his epic cycle.

Hayley Leys, 21, Aberdeen

Hayley set up the group Never Never where young people can come to her for advice. She had a rough childhood, losing her dad aged eight and being the victim of sexual abuse at 10 . She began to self-harm but kept it secret for six years. When she finally opened up, it took four years for her to complete her recovery.  After leaving school, Hayley began to help other young people in the same situation she had been in.

Kevin Martin, 21, Carntyne, Glasgow

Kevin was just 13 when his dad died and he went off the rails and joined a gang. He was kicked out of school and, at 15, was charged with possessing a knife and a machete. But after going to South Africa and doing community work with kids from shanty towns, it made him realise he wanted to help young people. When he returned to Glasgow, he got a job as a trainee youth worker and now works to support others caught up in gang culture.



Natalie Curran, 17, Cathcart, Glasgow

Desperately worried their eight-year-old daughter was going blind, Natalie’s parents took her to a doctor. It was initially dismissed as attention-seeking but a year later experts found a brain tumour was pushing down on her optic nerve. By the time surgeons removed it, Natalie was blind in her left eye and had hardly any vision in her right.

But instead of feeling bitter, Natalie’s working hard to improve the lives of other visually impaired youngsters. She wants to be a politician so she can campaign for the rights of the visually impaired.

Jamie McIntosh 15, Corstorphine, Edinburgh

When Jamie’s mum Monica died of cancer in November 2013, he put on a brave face but inside put on a brave face but inside he was racked with grief as he struggled to deal with every child’s worst nightmare. The teenager wrote a book about teenager wrote a book about his mother’s life and death his mother’s life and death in a bid to help other young people in a similar position.

He hopes the book – My Mum Monica – will help boys like him cope with the emotional rollercoaster of growing up with, and then losing, an ill parent.


The Unstoppables, 16-19, Dundee

These teens all have one thing in common – type 1 diabetes. They were brought together by their local clinic who asked if they would take part in a 12-week programme to come up with a performance about living with the condition in memory of a local girl who died from diabetes.

The youngsters performed for 400 friends, family and healthcare staff and raised £700. They then decided to continue raising awareness of the condition and helping other young sufferers.



Matthew Gibb, 14, Glasgow

Busker Matthew raised more than £1700 for victims of the Glasgow bin lorry crash by singing in shopping centres for cash. Matthew regularly sings around the city with his guitar and a handwritten sign He used his talent to raise money for the Lord Provost’s Queen Street fund. Bosses at Braehead and Princes Square welcomed him in to entertain shoppers after hearing about his efforts.

Jak Trueman, 15, West Calder

Teenage cancer fundraiser Jak and his mission to raise thousands of pounds for charity right until his death last month touched the hearts of the nation. The teen was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer but he and his friends refused to stop raising cash, even in the last few days of his life. They have collected £100,000 for Edinburgh Sick Kids friends Foundation, Children In Need, CLIC Sargent and Lymphoma and Leukaemia Research.

Abi Wardle, 16, Galashiels, Selkirkshire

Hairdressing student Abi saved the life of her mum and younger brother just a few days apart. The teenager had just arrived home from school when her mum Lisa, 37, fell to the floor and stopped breathing after a coughing fit. Brave Abi put her in the recovery position and started CPR until the paramedics arrived. Three days later, she saved her 13-year-old brother Ben’s life when he started to choke and could not breathe.