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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Inspirational Young People Recognised at Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards 2023

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Over £9,000 raised for Drummond School

13 young people were recognised at Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards (AYHA) 2023, which took place at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness on Friday 1st September.

Young people were recognised for their bravery, caring for family members, being a special sibling, fundraising for the local community, achievement and showing courage in the face of adversity.

This year, three new categories were also introduced by the team behind AYHA: Child Mentor Award, Judge’s Inspiring Young Person Award and Drummond School Pupil of the Year.

Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards was set up by Kelly Macrae in honour of her daughter, Amelia Jo Kelly, to recognise inspirational young people in the Highlands.

The event is sponsored by Caley Timber and Building Supplies and raises money for Drummond School, attended by Amelia.

This year, the event raised £9,010.

The money will be presented to Drummond School on Amelia’s ninth birthday later this month.

Compères for the night were radio DJs Dan Gilchrist and Grace Nicoll, former MFR Breakfast Show presenters and now with Edge Radio and Heart Scotland respectively, in their first live event together since 2022.

Speaking about the event Grace said:

“What a night!

“A rollercoaster of emotions with some tears as we heard the inspiring stories of our Young Highlanders and joy as everybody took to the dance-floor with the Electric Cherries.

“It was an honour to be part of Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards.”

The winners of Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards were:

  • Amelia’s Keep on Swimming Award: Harry Ritchie-Mackenzie (aged 6), for a child who started their life fighting and continues to fight each and every day; sponsored by Caley Timber and Building Supplies.
  • Riley MacLennan Child Warrior Award: Harry Wilson (aged 7) and Sam Douglas (aged 9), for a child who receives treatment every day, such as chemotherapy or physiotherapy, and just carries on as best they can; sponsored by North Coast Cars and presented by namesake Riley MacLennan himself who successfully beat cancer.
  • Leo Flett Child of Bravery Award: Aaron Nisbet (aged 7), for a child with a long-term illness who fights every day and continues to fight; sponsored by Caley Timber and Building Supplies.
  • Child Mentor Award: Amelia Wilson (aged 8), for a child who has helped a younger person with something, i.e. school work, volunteering, helping a younger child; sponsored by Dicksons of Inverness.
  • Drummond School Pupil of the Year: Ruby Gilmour (aged 8), chosen by the teachers at Drummond School for a child that has made incredible progress; sponsored by Orion Group.
  • Child Fundraiser Award: Codi Steele (aged 10), for a child who has fundraised for charities or causes they believe in; sponsored by Stay at Clarsach.
  • Special Sibling Award: Ellie Nisbet (aged 11) and Tate Aaron Clark (aged 10), for a child who goes that extra mile to help care for their siblings and make sure they are okay; sponsored by The Midge Bite Café.
  • Child Carer Award: Leo Macleish (aged 13), for a child who cares daily for a parent, sibling, friend or neighbour, often forgoing their own childhood to look after others; sponsored by R&B’s Inverness.
  • Child Achievement Award: Mia Macleod (aged 15), for a child who has excelled in their chosen hobby; sponsored by the Banister family.
  • Child of Courage Award: Stephen Hooper (aged 14), for a child who has overcome bullying, mental health issues and battles daily, yet still tries their best; sponsored by Cru Hospitality.
  • Judge’s Inspiring Young Person Award: Caoimhe Ross (aged 13), for a child who went above and beyond to support somebody in their community; sponsored by Caley Timber and Building Supplies.

Given the difficult task of judging the awards were Graham Laughton from Macleod & MacCallum and Donald John and Jennifer Morrison from Caley Timber and Building Supplies, with the Drummond School Pupil of the Year Award chosen by teachers at Drummond School.

Speaking about the nominees, Donald John Morrison said:

“Every year I am humbled by the young people in our community who battle to overcome challenges, often at a very young age.

“It is my privilege to be involved in Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards.

“Kelly does an amazing job to put on an event that recognises these young people and raises money for Drummond School, a fantastic facility with a passionate team supporting young people with additional needs.”

Kelly added:

“The generosity of people in the Highlands never ceases to amaze me.

“Times are tough for families and local businesses this year and, despite that, people have come forward to sponsor awards, donate prizes, buy raffle tickets and give up their time to make Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards the amazing event it is.

“I’d like to thank all the sponsors who have supported us from the beginning as well as new ones like Cru Hospitality, Orion Group and Miele’s Gelateria who I hope feel part of the team now.

“Thank you to every single person who has supported us and Drummond School, an institution close to my heart that supports Amelia on her journey.”

Other sponsors of Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards include Inverness Trophy Centre; Aurora Design Studio; RedBeard Productions; and Whale-like-fish.

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