IT IS almost time to reveal who has been crowned 2019 Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year.
Coronavirus has put paid to plans for a glittering gala dinner, held in association with St Enoch Centre and supported by Grand Central Hotel, Scottish Passenger Agents Association, Mackay & Inglis and Jones Whyte LLP.
Instead, all this week we are paying tribute to the remarkable women in the running for SWOTY and Young SWOTY.
Yesterday we revealed that climate change activist Holly Gillibrand from Fort William is our 2019 Young Scotswoman of the Year, following in the footsteps of last year’s inaugural winner of the award, athlete Maria Lyle.
Today, here is a reminder of the six outstanding finalists in contention to succeed MND campaigner Lucy Lintott as SWOTY 2019.
Zakia is the woman behind Invisible Cities, which trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. Passionate about ending the stigma surrounding homelessness, Zakia set up the project because she was sick of seeing people struggle on the streets and being unable to do anything about it.
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, from Greenock, is the heart and soul of Reach for Autism , a charity she set up five years ago after discovering there was a lack of support services for older children with the condition.
It has grown into what she calls “her Reach family”, supporting more than 40 children each week with after-school activities, a toddler group, art group and social events.
Its youth training group visits schools across the country, raising awareness about what it is like to live on the autistic spectrum; and Vicki and the team run training sessions police and legal groups.
In 2019, Vicki was awarded an MBE. 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.
Thanks to her 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.