Action for Children Scotland annually honours women who are excellent role models for the children it supports
Sarah Brown and Megan Boss, a young carer from Coatbridge, were honoured at Action for Children’s annual Woman of Influence awards on Sunday.
The prestigious awards ceremony recognises remarkable Scottish women who have had an outstanding impact on society and are role models to the children, young people, and families Action for Children supports. To date, the event has raised over £1m to support the charity’s work in Scotland.
The wife of former prime minister Gordon Brown, Sarah was recognised for her work with the children’s charity Theirworld. The charity, which Sarah founded and is now chair of, aims to give children in the UK, and across the world, the best start to life.
It also administers the Jennifer Brown Research Fund, which was established in memory of Sarah and Gordon’s first child, who died at just 10 days old in 2002. In the past 15 years, it has grown to reach across the globe, providing first funding for new innovative health research, community health and education projects.
Sarah said: “I am so grateful to Action For Children Scotland for this honour and I promise to continue campaigning and fighting for girls and women and young people here and across the world.
“All children deserve the right to realise their potential and to look forward to a brighter future. It is deeply frustrating to realise that 600 million of them are denied the chance of an education and skills for future work and life chances. Not only does each child miss out but the world misses out on so much talent.
“If we could give to every girl in the world an education we would go a long way to addressing gender stereotyping and gender equality.”
Megan Boss, 17, from Coatbridge was awarded the Inspirational Young Woman award. This special award is given to a young woman who has transformed her life as a result of the support received from Action for Children Scotland. Megan has been supported by the charity’s North Lanarkshire Young Carers project.
Megan cares for both of her parents and prior to coming to the Action for Children project she received very little support and saw her performance at school drop as her attendance waned. Four years on, not only has her educational attainment improved but she now acts as a Young Carer Ambassador, ensuring that other young people in a similar position aren’t missing out on the support which is available to them.
Paul Carberry, Action for Children’s director for Scotland, added: “Our Woman of Influence award is one of the most important events of Action for Children’s social calendar and has raised more than £1m to support our work here in Scotland.
“This has made a huge difference to the 20,000 children, families and young people our services work with while, at the same time, celebrating the successes of inspirational women in Scotland.”
Commenting on Megan’s recognition, Paul added: “I am very happy that Megan has been recognised for all her efforts with the Inspirational Young Woman award. We are incredibly proud to see how far she has come during her time at the project and to see her now act as an ambassador supporting other young carers, both in her school and across North Lanarkshire."
For the second year, a rising star from Scottish society was recognised with the Woman to Watch award. This year the award went to Dr Holly Butler, a research scientist at the University of Strathclyde. Holly is developing the world’s first cost-effective blood test for the early detection of brain cancer.
The shortlist for this year’s award also featured Yvonne Greaves, head of women in Business at NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank and Sharon Moore MBE, chief technology officer of Government at IBM; as well as quadruple amputee Corinne Hutton, who became Scotland’s first woman to receive hand transplants earlier this year.