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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Young Highlander Awards Back for 2022

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Nominations to recognise inspirational young people in the Highlands and Islands now open.

The Young Highlander Awards (YHA), set up by mother Kelly Macrae in honour of her daughter Amelia to recognise inspirational young people in the Highlands, is returning for 2022 after an imposed break during the pandemic, and the nomination process is now open.

The YHA is sponsored by Caley Timber and Building Supplies and will take place at the Drumossie Hotel on August 26th where families of those who have been successful in the awards will join Kelly, her family and a team of volunteers alongside a host of Highland businesses supporting the awards.

The compère for the night will be Liam Christie of North Highland Events and a disco will be provided by KBE Event Services.

The evening will raise money for NHS Play Specialists and Drummond School.

The categories for the Young Highlander Awards have each been sponsored by a business who will present the award to the Young Highlander on the night and take a table at the event.

All awards have been generously donated by Inverness Trophy Centre and the event is already a sell-out.

There is one category that still requires a sponsor – the Child Hero Award.

The Child Hero Award is designed to recognise a child who has acted in an emergency by calling emergency services or giving vital support.

The organisers are also looking for a band that would like to perform on the night.

Speaking about the return of the Young Highlander Awards, founder Kelly Macrae said:

“I am so excited to bring the Young Highlander Awards back this year and I am overwhelmed by the support I have already had from businesses all over the Highlands and Islands.

“All but one of the awards have already been sponsored and businesses have been really generous in donating prizes which will be given away as part of the fundraising on the night.

“I’m hoping we can raise as much money as possible this year for NHS Play Specialists and Drummond School, both of whom have been a huge support to me, my family, and of course Amelia over the years.”

One award has been renamed in honour of Leo Flett to the ‘Leo Flett Child of Bravery Award’ and his parents will present the award on the night.

Leo, who lived in Balloch, died of a rare form of muscular dystrophy, when he was just four years old.

Speaking about this, Leo’s mum Louise Flett said:

“We are extremely honoured and proud to have been asked to present the newly named Leo Flett Child of Bravery Award at Amelia’s Young Highlanders this year.

“The change to the name is a very fitting tribute to Leo and is something that has warmed our hearts, knowing that his memory will be kept alive in this way.”

Deserving young people across the Highlands and Islands can be nominated for the Young Highlander Awards if they are under 16 years of age.

The nomination must be made by a person over 18 and that person must have the consent of the family.

The award categories are as follows:

Child of Courage Award – sponsored by Macleod & MacCallum

Amelia’s Keep on Swimming Award – sponsored by Caley Timber and Building Supplies

Special Sibling Award – sponsored by The Midge Bite, Achnasheen

Child Fundraiser Award – sponsored by Clarsach

Child Hero Award – sponsor TBC

Leo Flett Child of Bravery Award – sponsored by Louise and Mitchell Flett

Child Carer Award – sponsored by North Coast Cars

The Wellbeing Child Award – sponsored by Scott’s Wellbeing and Counselling Services

Special Recognition Award – sponsored by Mrs Lorraine Christie

Child Community Award – sponsored by GEG Capital

Now in its third year, The Young Highlander Awards were created in honour of Amelia by her mum, Kelly Macrae.

Amelia was born at 32 weeks, weighing just 3lb and was placed on a ventilator.

At age two she was diagnosed with global development delay, at age three she was diagnosed with autism and being non-verbal.

During these and other challenges faced by Amelia, Kelly made a promise that for every year of Amelia’s fight, she would fundraise for a charity for her birthday.

Amelia is now seven years old and is still fighting, having recently been diagnosed with epilepsy.

The Young Highlander Awards 2022 will mark Amelia’s eighth birthday.

So far Kelly and her family have raised over £60,000 which has supported Drummond School, the Special Care Baby and Renal units at Raigmore Hospital as well as enabling the NHS Play Specialists to purchase a magic carpet and toys for the children’s ward.

Stephanie MacKenzie, Senior Play Specialist at the Highland Children’s Unit at Raigmore Hospital, explained:

“The magic carpet can be used for relaxation, for diagnostic purposes, for games, and by the teacher for schoolwork so it has been such a benefit for us to have this on the ward and none of this would have been possible without Amelia.

Thank you, Amelia and the Young Highlander Awards.”

Nominations for the YHA 2022 will be judged by a panel made up of representatives from local businesses, many of whom have supported the Young Highlander Awards since the beginning.

Speaking about the awards, Donald John Morrison, Managing Director of Caley Timber and Building Supplies, explained:

“I have known Kelly and her family for a few years now and I definitely have a soft spot for Amelia.

“I am proud to be part of the Young Highlander Awards which does amazing work to celebrate our young people, often battling against the odds, as well as raise vital money for good causes.”

Taking place at the Drumossie Hotel, venue sponsor and also providing the drinks reception, Kenny McMillan, General Manager, added:

“We are delighted to have the Young Highlander Awards back at the Drumossie Hotel this year.

“It is a real highlight and a privilege to meet the young people recognised and their incredible families.”

Guests will be in for a treat as Liam Christie of North Highland Events takes to the stage to MC the evening.

Liam is looking forward to it:

“We are delighted to be hosting Amelia’s Young Highlander Awards.

“The courage and inspiration of the nominees and winners is quite incredible.

“It’s truly an honour and a privilege to tell all their stories, that inspire, motivate and make you realise that there is always hope even in the darkest of days.”

Other sponsors of the YHA include Highland Hammer Hire, which is sponsoring the nurses’ table, Aurora Design Studio and Whale-like-fish.

Nominate a young Highlander for an award by clicking here.

Any band interested in playing at the event or any businesses interested in sponsoring an award or donating a prize should contact Kelly Macrae directly on ameliascbu@gmail.com.

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