GET ready to party – it is time to reveal our super six.
Meet the 2019 Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year finalists – homelessness activist Zakia Moulaoui, autism champion Vicki McCarthy, children’s fitness visionary Elaine Wyllie, inspirational fundraiser Corinne Hutton, suicide support charity founder Pauline Moriarty and world-leading gynaecologist Sarah Martins Da Silva.
The winner will be announced at a glittering gala dinner in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel on March 26.
Our event, in partnership with the St Enoch Centre, has been celebrating female achievement since 1963.
Tomorrow, we will announce the Young Scotswoman of the Year finalists and details of how you can vote for your favourite.
Zakia, from Edinburgh, is a former director of the Homeless World Cup Foundation, a global network of street soccer competitions. She was recently listed on the NatWest WISE100, a list of the UK’s leading women in social enterprise and impact investment.
Vicki set up Reach for Autism five years ago following her own experience with her daughter Kira.
Discovering there was a lack of support services for older children with the condition, she started her own.
From three or four parents at the first meeting the group has grown to support more than 40 children and their families each week with after-school activities, a toddler group, art group and social events.
In 2019, Vicki was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list and she works tirelessly to ensure the voices of families affected by autism continue to be heard.
Former headteacher Elaine Wyllie came up with the idea for the Daily Mile in 2012 and it has transformed the health and wellbeing of children across Scotland.
Concerned about her pupils’ lack of physical fitness, Elaine decided to get them moving for 15 minutes every day. It is free, measurable and simple for teachers to implement and is proving a highly effective weapon in the fight against childhood obesity.
Thanks to Elaine’s drive and tenacity, the scheme has since been adopted by the Scottish Government who have committed to rolling it out across all schools to make Scotland the first Daily Mile nation.
In 2019, the charity celebrated a huge milestone – more than 10,000 schools and nurseries now take part, reaching two million children in 68 countries around the world.
Quadruple amputee Corinne Hutton is a force of nature. The Lochwinnoch woman lost both her hands and lower legs when she contracted sepsis in 2013. Realising how little support existed for people who have lost limbs, she set up Finding Your Feet. In five years, it has raised the huge sum of £1.2m.
She has set four world records, including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, and she devotes her life to mentoring, motivating and inspiring those who have experienced limb loss.
Pauline set up the charity Beautiful Inside and Out following the suicide of her 13-year-old daughter Jenna.
Struggling to cope with her loss, she discovered a lack of support for parents and siblings of suicide victims and was determined to change that.
The charity, which runs counselling, music and play therapy sessions all over Scotland, now has around 15 therapists. It also funds music and dramatherapy projects for vulnerable young people in nurture groups in schools.
Pauline, from Kilmarnock, works hard to raise awareness of the issues surrounding suicide and her charity continues to save lives and make a difference to bereaved parents and siblings across the country.
SARAH MARTINS DA SILVA
Infertility expert Sarah is one of Scotland’s leading gynaecologists.
As a senior lecturer in reproductive medicine at the University of Dundee, she is focused on finding solutions to male infertility in a bid to stop women from being subjected to invasive fertility treatments such as IVF.
Sarah’s work in harnessing science, technology, investment and innovation in male reproductive health has global implications.
Her dedication and passion singled her out as the only Scot on the BBC’s 100 Women of Influence list in 2019.