In a virtual ceremony held in association with St Enoch Centre and streamed from the Glasgow shopping mall on social media last night, Professor Jill Belch was awarded the title in honour of her inspirational effort to support NHS staff on the frontline fighting coronavirus.
Writer and campaigner Amanda Amaeshi was crowned Young SWOTY 2020 after winning the public vote.
Jill, who is a Professor in Vascular Medicine at Dundee University responsible for groundbreaking and lifesaving research, set up Masks for Scotland last March, raising almost £440,000 and delivering one million pieces of PPE around the country.
She said: “Winning SWOTY means – wow. So fantastic.
“Importantly, it allows me to thank everyone involved – my daughters Janette, Lucy and Joanna and their partners, the wonderful volunteer drivers, neighbours, Angela Higgins and her team, Ann Gloag’s finance team and the 4000-plus people who donated. Everyone, thank you. You did good, and this award is for you.”
Glasgow Times Editor Callum Baird said: “Jill’s incredible work during the pandemic made a tangible difference in Scotland’s battle against the virus, just when we needed it most. Her charity took Scotland by storm, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds and won the endorsement of famous faces up and down the country.
“She is an inspiration both in her day job and outside of it.”
Amanda Amaeshi is one of only 18 Girlguiding Youth Advocates across the UK, speaking up on issues that matter to young women across the country.
Callum said: “Amanda is an inspiration. She has taken on business bosses over gender bias, is an awardwinning writer and has a track record already on speaking out on racism and injustice wherever she finds it. We’re delighted she is our 2020 Young SWOTY.”