COMPASSIONATE, campaigning, determined and kind – meet the 2020 Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year finalists.
Today we reveal the fabulous contenders for our main award, which has been celebrating female achievement since 1963, and the fantastic five in the running for Young Scotswoman of the Year, open to girls and young women aged between 12 and 21.
Over the next few weeks, in the run up to our virtual awards ceremony on April 29, we will be sharing their stories.
Glasgow Times editor Callum Baird said: “It will come as no surprise to anyone that this year’s batch of was one of the largest and strongest ever. During 2020, driven by the impact of Covid on every aspect of our lives, women from every community across the country stepped up to support others, often overcoming personal adversity along the way.
“Some of these women – and we know there are many, many more out there, changing lives for the better – have made it on to our 2020 Scotswoman of the Year shortlist.
“We are also delighted to announce our Young Scotswoman of the Year finalists – five fantastic girls and young women already demonstrating inspirational courage, resilience and talent.”
He added: “It is a shame that our annual awards dinner cannot take place in its usual form because of ongoing restrictions. However, with our generous partner St Enoch Centre and general manager Anne Ledgerwood, we have worked hard to ensure a celebration will go ahead online and we are all looking forward to sharing that with you on April 29.”
The contenders for the 2020 Scotswoman of the Year are:
Linda, who is chairperson of Disabilty Equality Scotland, was a frontline nurse and paramedic who had to give up her job because of a spinal cord injury. She turned her attention to disability campaigning, and has had a huge impact on Scottish transport policy.
MSP Monica worked tirelessly to champion The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 in the Scottish Parliament, the world’s first legislation to make sanitary products free to those in need. Her Bill was supported by all parties and has changed lives across the country.
NHS SCOTLAND FOR THE LOVE OF SCRUBS
The four women behind this mammoth appeal to provide scrubs for frontline workers during the pandemic raised more than £10,000 in the first 48 hours and enlisted 1200 volunteers. Maja and Mirka Jankowska and Claire Boyle and Holly Baxter-Weir worked tirelessly to rally support.
PROFESSOR JILL BELCH
Jill’s campaign Masks for Scotland raised more than £430,000 and delivered more than one million pieces of PPE around the country in six months. In her day job, Professor Belch is renowned for having developed effective treatments for vascular disease while establishing Dundee as a leading research centre in the field.
Eunice shot to fame as Scotland’s first black supermodel, appearing on the catwalks for the likes of Christopher Kane and Harris Tweed, but she is also well known and respected as a fundraiser, activist and author. She recently successfully petitioned the Scottish Parliament in a bid to have Afro-Scottish history taught in schools.
PROFESSOR DEVI SRIDHAR
Devi Sridhar is one of the world’s most inspirational global health experts, and for the past year she has been an expert adviser on Scottish and UK governmental committees, helping people across Scotland understand Covid and its effect on their day to day lives.
She was the US’s youngest Rhodes Scholar, aged 18, and became Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh when she was 30. She is respected by fellow academics and the wider public alike.
The 2020 Young SWOTY winner will be decided by a public vote. You can register your vote here at https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/young-swoty-2020 . The vote will close at 5pm on Friday, April 2.
The fantastic finalists are:
LUSIA STEELE, 21, ERSKINE
Cyclist Lusia Steele took the silver medal in her first European Championships. She started cycling with the Johnstone Jets, a community club set up by her dad and she is now on course to represent Britain at the Olympics in 2024.
ROSEANNA CAMPBELL, 21, EDINBURGH
Roseanna, who was in care throughout her teens and became homeless at the age of 16, has become a champion volunteer at 6VT Edinburgh City Youth Café. Roseanna has been a youth board member for four years, and was elected President.
JULIANA SWEENEY-BAIRD, 17, BEARSDEN
Juliana is losing her sight due to a rare genetic condition, but she continues skate. She is ranked first in the world for inclusive skating and is a current British junior champion.
AMANDA AMAESHI, 16, DUNFERMLINE
Award-winning writer Amanda raises awareness of issues such as the lack of women in STEM and the harms of fast fashion. She is a member of the Girlguiding Advocate Panel, a panel of 18 young women in the UK aged 14-25 who speak out on issues that matter to girls and young women across the country.
KATIE PAKE, 12, GLENROTHES
Schoolgirl and champion swimmer Katie Pake has raised thousands of pounds for children’s cancer charities. She had a type of bone cancer, which led to the amputation of her leg when she was nine. She has won gold medals at the junior and senior Scottish Disability Sport National Swimming Championships, plays football and is a wheelchair racer.