Lord-Lieutenant's Youth Awards 2018

Lord-Lieutenant's Youth Awards 2018

- 22/04/2018

On Monday 19 March 2018 Mrs Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant for Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh was present at the Strathpeffer Pavilion to host the awards ceremony for 2018.

Full details and photographs of this event are available on the Youth Awards own website at http://www.llyouthaward.org/ on both the home page and the 2018 tabs.

The Pavilion was packed for the evening and Mrs Bowen was joined on stage by Roy MacGregor, Group Chairman of Global Energy and Steve Barron (Chief Executive of The Highland Council).

In her opening remarks, having thanked all those that allowed the Awards to happen (sponsors, nominators, coaches, parents, etc.) Mrs Bowen said:

Now, to all you young people. The main problem for our judges is that you who have been nominated are all totally brilliant and choosing who is to be the winner is really, really difficult. You are all winners. You are all winners because you have gone out and done your very best in whatever situation you have found yourselves. And that is what life is all about - taking the opportunities available to you and running with them. So very well done each and everyone of you young people here tonight.

As I say these Awards have been running for 5 years; I believe with a considerable degree of success. I am not aware of any award in the North of Scotland at least, which takes into account not just the observed achievement whatever that may be but also takes into account the invisible achievement: So, in the past, amongst more straightforward situations we have given awards to a disabled sportsman, to young carers who have achieved, to those who have overcome private hurdles, and last year, a first, to a girl with learning difficulties. What we are trying to do is to shine the spotlight on those who might not have otherwise been noticed.

However, this Lord Lieutenant’s Award Ceremony is to be the last for the moment. I retire as Lord-Lieutenant next year and my successor will need to have his or her own agenda and vision for the role, which may be different from the way things are now. In the meantime I thank you all, young people, sponsors, nominators and helpers, for your support, hard work and encouragement and most importantly taking time to recognise those young people in our community who without you may not necessarily have had the spotlight shone upon them, recognizing them and allowing them to shine tonight and in the future.

Mrs Bowen made her own Lord-Lieutenant’s Special Award to Ragheb Al Mahameed who came to the Highlands from Syria and has been in Alness for only two years. Despite the language and cultural barriers he has embraced every opportunity with enthusiasm, including undertaking over 200 hours volunteering with ‘Highlands Supports Refugees’ and ‘New Start Highland’. The award was in recognition of, and thanks for, all that he has done for his adopted community.

Mr Al Mahameed received a standing ovation.

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