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Thursday 20 June  |  Radisson Blu, Glasgow  |  #ScotCharityAwards


Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

Scottish Charity Award winners - 2024

We announced the 11 winners of the Scottish Charity Awards 2024 at a celebratory awards ceremony, hosted by Sally Magnusson on Thursday 20 June at the Radisson Blu, Glasgow.

Run annually by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Scottish Charity Awards celebrates the best of the voluntary sector and this year’s shortlist included 39 individuals and organisations from charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the country.

Huge congratulations to all our winners and finalists. Read all about our winners:

Campaign of the Year - "Cancelling School Meal Debt" - Aberlour Children's Charity

Sponsored by SGN

This ambitious campaign persuaded the Scottish Government to write off £1.8m of school meal debt for 30,000 children in 2023. The charity’s funded research in partnership with Heriot-Watt University highlighted that families were being legally pursued for as little as £10 arrears. ‘Cancelling School Meal Debt’ was driven across press and social media, and effectively sustained political pressure to ease financial burdens on families and build brighter futures for Scotland’s disadvantaged children.

SallyAnn Kelly OBE (Aberlour Children's Charity) & Scott Hone (SGN)

SallyAnn Kelly OBE, chief executive, Aberlour Children's Charity said: "We are absolutely delighted to win the highly prestigious ‘Campaign of the Year’ award. Huge and heartfelt thanks to all the people, organisations, partners and funders who have supported us with this campaign, we couldn’t have done it without you. As a result thousands of struggling families across Scotland are now benefiting from the cancellation of school meal debt. We are all so grateful and winning this award really is the icing on the cake.

Charity of the Year (turnover under £500k) - Playlist for Life

Sponsored by Keegan & Pennykid

There’s no cure for dementia, but meaningful music can be a lifeline for those who live with it. Playlist for Life’s 10th anniversary was focused on impact and saw the charity host a music and dementia conference, influence the Scottish Government’s dementia strategy, and open up national conversation with its awareness campaign. Most importantly, through tailored playlists, 60,000 people were supported to find joy and live well with dementia.

June Pennykid (Keegan & Pennykid), Michael Timmons (Playlist for Life) & Richard Jennings (SCVO Convener)

Michael Timmons, executive director, Playlist for Life said: "To win small Charity of the Year for our 10th anniversary year is a great honour and to be recognised alongside so many amazing charities doing incredible work is very special. We share this award with people living with dementia, their families, carers, and everyone who has supported Playlist for Life over the past decade to press play on the soundtrack of so many people’s lives. This award will help us reach more people with our simple message that personalised playlists can provide a lifeline for people living with dementia".

Charity of the Year (turnover over £500k) - Fife Young Carers

Sponsored by Keegan & Pennykid

Fife Young Carers provide holistic support to tackle the isolation, poor educational attainment and mental health challenges faced by young carers from as young as five. Their 25th anniversary year was one of great challenge when their longstanding CEO passed away. Despite this personal loss, the team continued their life-changing support, delivered 25 special anniversary events and fulfilled a long-held dream of moving to new premises to expand.

June Pennykid (Keegan & Pennykid), Harvey Carruthers (Fife Young Carers) & Sally Magnusson

Harvey Carruthers, CEO, Fife Young Carers said: "We would like to dedicate this award to young carers everywhere, who trust organisations like Fife Young Carers to support them for as long as they need, to celebrate their lives, and help achieve their dreams."

Climate Impact - Forth Rivers Trust

Sponsored by Utility Aid

Tackling the crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, the Forth Rivers Trust has been dedicated to restoring and enhancing the Allan Water river. The efforts of project partners, funders and the local community have helped to transform a once degraded floodplain into a thriving wetland, while providing natural flood management protection to communities downstream. The impact of this project has been twofold - successfully developing a healthier river ecosystem for Scotland’s wildlife and its people.

Emily Berry (Utility Aid), Amelia Heath (Forth Rivers Trust) & Sally Magnusson

Amelia Heath, co-director of Forth Rivers Trust said: "We are absolutely delighted to win this award! We would like to extend our greatest of thanks to the funders, landowners, volunteers, staff, and community members who have made this hard work possible, supporting the delivery of the Trust's work on the Allan Water. Together, we are building a more climate-resilient catchment, delivering benefits for people, nature and wildlife. We couldn’t have achieved this without you."

Community Impact - Fersands and Fountain SCIO

Fersands and Fountain SCIO aims to reduce poverty and improve equality in one of Aberdeen’s regeneration areas. The charity’s ‘Cost of Living Project’ was brought to life last year with the help of over 30 local volunteers. Designed by local residents for local residents, this community-focused project provided services that became a lifeline for many, including a community café offering free meals, food and fuel vouchers, community transport services and housing support.

Kaukab Stewart (Minister for Equalities), Claire Whyte (Fersands and Fountain SCIO) & Sally Magnusson

Claire Whyte, senior community worker, Fersands and Fountain SCIO said: "We are absolutely delighted and proud to receive this incredible award! Firstly we want to thank the community we serve and all the incredible staff and volunteers at Fersands. We would also like to thank all our amazing partners, funders and supporters that have been with us over the past 44 years. Winning the community impact award is such an honour, as we are passionate about empowering our community to support each other and make positive changes to their lives which is exactly what this award is about."

Digital Difference - Lead Scotland

Lead Scotland’s Cyber Project has made it easier for over 3,000 disabled people, carers and practitioners from 28 local authorities to stay secure online. As well as offering a range of learning courses and tutor support, Lead Scotland has translated important cyber guidance into a range of accessible formats. The charity’s digital work and online platform have perfectly paired accessibility and cyber, helping to keep people with disabilities safer online.

Jonathan Christie (SCVO trustee), Michael Chamberlain (Lead Scotland) & Sally Magnusson

Emma Whitelock, CEO, Lead Scotland: "We would like to say how delighted we are to win this prestigious award. Being awarded for Digital Difference could have only been possible thanks to all the people who have supported us, the dedication and hard work of all our staff and volunteers and to positive and supportive partnerships and funders."

Employee of the Year - Amanda Fleet, Highlands and Islands Students' Association

Sponsored by Aspen People

A true leader in sporting inclusion, Amanda has sparked a profound shift in sports engagement as Sports Development Coordinator. Her commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion has broken down barriers for marginalised groups and her can-do attitude has led to the development of innovative initiatives and community partnerships. Her tenacity has transformed sporting engagement levels, with membership and sport club numbers growing exponentially as a result of her hard work.

Debbie Shields (Aspen People), Amanda Fleet (Highlands & Islands Students’ Association) & Sally Magnusson

Amanda Fleet, sports development coordinator, Highlands and Islands Students' Association said: "I am delighted beyond words to receive the prestigious Employee of the Year award. I am so lucky to have a career I enjoy so much and one in which I can make a real difference. Thank you to everyone who has supported me- it wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering belief of my colleagues and all the partners I work with".

People's Choice - Simba

Sponsored by HSF Health Plan

Simba provides invaluable support to families devastated by baby loss. In early 2023, the charity faced the overwhelming challenge of possible closure. Committed trustees, volunteers and staff pulled together and steered the organisation back to safety through an urgent appeal which received unprecedented support. £467,000 was raised – double the initial target – meaning thousands of grieving families were able to receive the critical support they needed during the most devastating times of their lives.

Ryan Crown (HSF Health Plan), Vanessa Rhazali (Simba) & Sally Magnusson

Theresa Fyffe, Chair of Trustees, Simba: "We would like to give a HUGE heartfelt thank you to each and every person that voted for our charity to win this prestigious award. Your support is truly appreciated more than words can say. This one’s for you!"

Partnership of the Year - SOHTIS (Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland) and Simon Community Scotland

Evidence shows a strong correlation between homelessness and human trafficking. This innovative partnership committed to reducing human trafficking in Edinburgh and has resulted in transformational change for some of the city’s most vulnerable people. By developing a model of practice to address challenging homelessness issues in Scotland, the partnership has successfully recovered victims of trafficking, provided prevention opportunities and delivered crucial training for frontline workers.

Maureen McGinn (SCVO Honorary President), Daniel Tornes (SOHTIS), Alice Castelnuovo (SOHTIS) & Sally Magnusson

Joy Gillespie, CEO, SOHTIS (Survivors of Human Trafficking in Scotland) said: "SOHTIS and Simon Community Scotland are absolutely thrilled to receive this incredible and prestigious Partnership Award!  We want to thank both of our amazing teams as well as all our supporters and funders who have journeyed with us in this trailblazing mission.  Human trafficking and homelessness are inextricably linked, we refuse to accept the status quo and together are tenacious in our determination to break this cycle in order that people can walk in freedom. Thank you SCVO for this wonderful award".

Trustee of the Year - Michelle Robertson, Fallin Community Voice

Sponsored by CCLA

Known for her special ability to rally Fallin’s local community, Michelle inspires everyone to make the village a better place to live. From fundraising for and organising community meals, a community garden and a variety of social events, nothing can stop Michelle from doing the best she can for this low-income community. Described as selfless and resilient with bundles of perseverance, her efforts have breathed new life into Fallin.

Sharika Sharma (CCLA), Michelle Robertson (Fallin Community Voice) & Sally Magnusson

Michelle Robertson, trustee, Fallin Community Voice said: "I can't put into words how grateful I am to have won, it means the world to me. Having been born and brought up in Fallin, I've always been passionate about my village and determined to make it a better place to live for everyone - the people who live here deserve it! I'd like to say a huge thanks to MSP Evelyn Tweed for putting me forward, and to the whole Fallin Community Voice team who are amazing to work with. Being recognised in this way makes all the hard work worth it."

Volunteer of the Year - Mary Hepburn, Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre

Sponsored by Volunteer Scotland

Mary first started volunteering with the charity in 2022 after retiring from her role as a counselling tutor. Since then, she has provided invaluable one-to-one support to 19 survivors of rape and sexual assault, going above and beyond to be the best practitioner she can be. Her strong ethics, caring nature and natural ability to listen closely to the needs of others, are appreciated by clients and peers alike.

Alan Stevenson (Volunteer Scotland), Mary Hepburn (Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre) & Sally Magnusson

Mary Hepburn, volunteer, Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Centre: "Thank you to everyone at the SCVO for organising, hosting and highlighting the fantastic charity work done here in Scotland. Also, to all at FRASAC who deliver such an amazing service for our community, in Fife."

Anna Fowlie, chief executive of SCVO, said: "Once again, we enjoyed a fabulous evening for the 2024 Scottish Charity Awards. We had a record number of entrants this year, and a record number of votes for the People’s Choice. With 39 finalists over the ten categories, you can see the huge diversity of the Scottish voluntary sector. Our finalists were rural and urban, working with older people and young people, large and small, and working with everything from human trafficking to recycling. I’m in awe.

There were 11 great winners because this year we split Charity of the Year into smaller and larger organisations – a bonus! It was such an inspiring evening, full of people and organisations who make Scotland a better place.”

The Scottish Charity Awards 2024 is sponsored by