Inspirational Young Persons

Two Campbeltown pupils have become the first ever recipients of a new Argyll College UHI Inspirational Young Person of the Year Award.

Calum Ellis of Dalintober Primary and Emma Bannatyne of Campbeltown Grammar School won the junior and senior categories respectively, with Clachan Primary triumphing in the other category –Active Participation Group.

The awards were established by Argyll College UHI’s Campbeltown centre to recognise the efforts of individual pupils and groups, and at the same time promote the College and the options it offers to young people across the area.

Letters were sent out to all Campbeltown Grammar feeder primaries as well as the Grammar itself, asking for nominations.  The centre staff then picked the winners from the nominations received.

Argyll College UHI principal Fraser Durie, who presented Emma with her award at the Grammar school prizegiving, said the new scheme was a fantastic way for the College to further engage with the local community and, in particular, its schools.

“I’m delighted the Campbeltown centre has established these awards because it’s impossible to understate the impact which having inspirational peers can have on young people,” he added.

“Too often these pupils who give so much to others go unrecognised.  It’s great that schools and communities in the Campbeltown area now have a means through which they can get the recognition they deserve.”

The Active Participation Group award recognises the work of a group of youngsters who have actively participated in a project or activity throughout the year which has had a positive influence either in their school or in their local community.  This can be either an individual activity or an ongoing project.

Clachan Primary won for its annual Christmas cakes initiative, which sees every pupil in the school work together from November to back 44 Christmas cakes which are then hand delivered to every retired person in the village.

Clachan Primary
Clachan head teacher Lucy Blake said: “This project, which has been going for 20 years, links the children to the older members of the community in a real and tangible way.  
“Clachan is a village with the school at its heart, and it is important to the school to keep links to the wider community.
“The fact that each cake is hand labelled individually adds to the sense of caring for each person. We receive thank you cards which tell us how appreciated the cakes are. Christmas can be a lonely time too. We hope that letting everyone know they are thought of is a way to show that we care, and we’re delighted the project has been recognised in these awards.”
The individual awards recognise a young person who has by their own actions, efforts or personal achievements inspired others and proven a positive role model for fellow pupils.

In her nomination letter, Campbeltown Grammar depute head Catherine Cameron said Emma was a stand out choice for this inaugural award.

Emma“Emma demonstrated a huge level of resilience and determination last year when, suddenly faced with the adversity of serious ill health, she resolutely pursued her aim of maintaining her attendance at school in order to complete her SQA diet of 5 qualifications” she said.

“She refused to be deterred by her illness, even on the days of her formal exams when she was very unwell.  She remained positive and upbeat, meeting all her challenges head on.  As a result, Emma has been rewarded with an excellent set of qualifications, leading to unconditional offer at the Royal Conservatoire Scotland.  

“She has been excellent role model, both as a student and as a patient, and has allowed the school to share her story, keen for others affected in some way by a similar illness to realise what can be achieved but also to know they are not alone.”

Dalintober Primary principal teacher Elspeth Campbell said the school had nominated Calum because ‘he always has a positive attitude and volunteers with many activities in school’.

“He has been a P7 Buddy and a member of our Sports Council which attained Silver Award.  He is a good role model to younger children and has helped with clubs in school and has been a fantastic Playground Buddy”, she added.