Presentation of BEM to Marjory Jagger

Presentation of BEM to Marjory Jagger

- 14/11/2017

On Tuesday 24 October Mrs Janet Bowen was in Portree to invest Mrs Marjorie Jagger with her British Empire Medal for her work with young carers. Mrs Bowen said:

One of the great privileges, in fact I think I would say the greatest privilege, of being Lord-Lieutenant is the people that I get to meet. And I’m not talking about the obvious people: politicians, people in the news or people enjoying privilege themselves. I’m talking about everyday folk and the amazing things they do in our society across an amazing spectrum of activities.

This was brought home to me very early in my Lieutenancy when I found myself arranging a visit by the Princess Royal to young carers in Tain, and if I hadn’t done twenty years on the Childrens’ Panel I might well have been very worried indeed, because this was a visit with a difference. In short, the carers were very short on deference but very long on being teenagers and children (!), all of which the Princess took in her stride before talking movingly about the responsibilities and needs that fall on children who have the duties of being a carer thrust upon them.

All of which has placed young carers close to my heart, which is one thing. But making young carers your life work is another. The point is that these young folk have great needs just to keep going, which is where Marjory comes in.

Sixteen years ago Marjory was asked by a young carer what help was available, and with that the blue touch paper was lit! She started with six youngsters and formed the Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers Charity. This now supports 60 youngsters between 5 and 18 and there are five after school groups meeting weekly.

Many of these children come from homes suffering alcohol and drug abuse, and like anyone these young people need respite which Marjory organises in school holidays: riding, ice skating, trips to Inverness and Edinburgh and so on.

Marjory also fundraises. Raising nearly £30,000 in 2015 through the Great Wilderness challenge is a good example. She also networks and working with Columba 1400 is an example of that.

The good news is that many have recognised Marjory as an exemplar. She has given evidence at Holyrood, worked with The Highland Council, and met with local MSP’s. There have also been awards, the latest of which was the Community Action Award at the Scottish Charity Awards ceremony in 2015. And all of this is in the context of the needs of her own family.

My personal feeling is this award to you personally, Marjory, looks to be somewhat overdue, but whether this is the case or not it gives me the very greatest pleasure on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen to invest you with the British Empire Medal for services to young people and the communities of Skye and Lochalsh.

The photograph shows Marjory Jagger, wearing her BEM, with two young carers, Hannah MacRaild and Paul Reeves and Mrs Bowen.

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