North Ayrshire takes plaudits at 10th Herald Society Awards

A SCHEME to get families using technology for education and the campaign to save the Ardrossan to Arran ferry route helped North Ayrshire Council clean up at the 10th annual Herald Society Awards last night.

Initiatives based at the council took home four of the 13 awards, including Society Worker Angela Morrell, while its Money Matters unit was named Society Team of the Year.

Helen Holland, who has campaigned for two decades for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry and who works tirelessly to support fellow victims, was our Unsung Hero of 2017.

The Celtic FC Foundation’s Ability Counts scheme was the Community Project of the Year.

More than 300 guests gathered to celebrate the awards in association with Social Work Scotland, which were hosted by TV weatherman Sean Batty at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.  The event showcased the best work and projects taking place within the public, third and voluntary sector.

In the tenth year, the awards were supported by Social Work Scotland, The Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures, Glasgow’s Third Sector Interface, Legacy 2014, evh, The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) and MacRoberts LLP.

With well over 100 entries received in total, as ever, the judges had some difficult decisions to make this year.

North Ayrshire Council may have dominated, but recognition was spread nationwide with Aberdeen City Council winning the Environmental Initiative of the Year with their Seaton Park Wetland Project and Aberdeen Foyer’s Impact Project picking up the award for Health and Social Care Integration.

Jane Devine, director at Social Work Scotland, said “We were delighted to sponsor the awards this year – so many wonderful examples of people being creative and supporting their communities in so many different ways.

“We hope the finalists and winners get a real boost from the recognition they get through these awards and we hope those that think they too are doing something wonderful, will enter next year.”

Helen Macneil, CEO of GCVS, said “The Glasgow Third Sector Interface partners were delighted to present Community Project of the Year to Ability Counts.

“They have shown real commitment to achieving social change and this award reflects their spectacular efforts and hard work.”

Eamonn Connolly, director at evh, said: “Another great awards night, and fantastic winners yet again. Where do we get these wonderful people from – and how can we make some more of them?”

Valerie Surgenor, partner at MacRoberts LLP, said: “It was a fantastic night celebrating those who make a difference to our society. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners.”

Ian Welsh, chief executive, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, said: “I would like to congratulate the winners and all those shortlisted at last night’s star-studded event, these awards provide a platform for all the talent and inspiring projects across Scottish society.”

Andrew Sinclair, Head of Legacy 2014, said: “It’s humbling to hear about all the brilliant work taking place by committed individuals and organisations across the country.”