Charity working to help refugees among society’s winning heroes

A CHARITY that provides welcome packs and “a letter fae a local” to help recently arrived refugees settle in Scotland has been named Campaigner of the Year at the Herald Society Awards 2016.

Refuweegee was recognised by judges for the wide range of ideas used to help integrate new arrivals to Glasgow, which also included a photographic project and recording an album.

Last night’s awards, presented in association with Social Work Scotland (SWS), and now in their ninth year, recognise innovation and achievement in the public and voluntary sector.

Judges hailed the standard of entries across the categories, with individuals, teams, public bodies and charities from across the country recognised.

Worker of the Year, supported by SWS, was won by Dr Charlotte McCarroll, of Glasgow University for her work supporting a greater understanding of transgender issues on campus, and The Herald Society Team of the Year was the volunteer executive committee of Strathclyde University Law Clinic.

Meanwhile the Unsung Hero Award, supported by evh, was won by Raza Sadiq, who helped found an Active Life Club to help build community relations on the southside of Glasgow.

Winners came from across the country. The Atlantic Islands Centre, run by the Isle of Luing community Trust, was community project of the year, and Aberdeen City and Aberdeen Permanence and Care Excellence teams working with the Centre for Excellence for Looked after Children in Scotland were named young people’s project of the year for efforts to improve the speed of decisions made to help vulnerable children in the care system.

Older people’s project of the year was the charity Contact the Elderly, for its simple and effective work to tackle loneliness and isolation.

Jane Devine, business manager for title sponsor SWS, said: “These awards are unique in that they recognise achievement at all levels across all of public service. Well done to all the winners.”

Ian Welsh, chief executive at Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland which supported the Team of the Year category, said: “Last night’s awards were an inspiring reminder of the fantastic work taking place across Scottish society, and the vital impact it has on our people and communities. I’d like to congratulate the winners and all those shortlisted.”

Eamonn Connolly, director at evh which backed the Unsung Hero category, praised the strength of the category’s shortlist, adding: “Our future is certainly in safe hands with such great people around.”

Andy Sinclair, head of legacy at the Scottish Government, supporting the Legacy2014 category, said: “Congratulations to Pinkston Watersports. This award is recognition for the excellent work that continues to be done to build on the Legacy of the best games ever.”

Vincent McKay, Dean of the School of Health and Life Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, which supported the Health and Social Care Integration category, said: “The display of work being done across Scotland to help people to sustain and improve their health, especially in disadvantaged communities, was truly outstanding.”

Please visit for footage and information on how to get involved in the 2017 event.