Ten campaigners have been honoured at a national awards ceremony for the impact of their work.
Each year, the Sheila McKechnie Foundation (SMK) celebrates the best campaigns and campaigners – whether working locally or nationally, and from individuals and community groups to people working in large organisations.
Winners of this year’s awards include Hannah Deacon who’s campaigned for the legalisation of medicinal cannabis use for those with epilepsy.
Desperate to save her son before he suffered any lasting brain damage from the seizures, Hannah took Alfie to Holland to be treated by a Paediatric Neurologist with medical cannabis. The medicine worked, but they came back home in 2018 without knowing how to get him the treatment in the UK.
Working alongside End Our Pain, Hannah took Alfie’s story to MPs and Peers of all parties, and presented evidence to the Policing Minister. But it was her appeals directly to the public through traditional and social media that really raised the pressure.
Noel Conway, another winner, was diagnosed with terminal motor neurone disease and has devoted his final months campaigning for assisted dying.
SMK’s Chief Executive Sue Tibballs said:
The SMK Campaigner Awards are a unique opportunity to celebrate some of the most inspiring, innovative and often courageous people who are speaking out to effect change. Our communities are fairer, safe, kinder and more tolerant as a result. Our thanks and congratulations to them all.
Other winners at the awards include TIE, a Scottish charity founded in 2015 by Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson, which has successfully campaigned for LGBT-inclusive education in Scotland.
TIE believe that LGBT history, role models and equalities should be taught within schools in order to tackle prejudice and bullying. They deliver services to achieve this and, so far, have reached over 25,000 young people with their LGBT and Allies school services.
In 2017, the Scottish Parliament endorsed TIE’s proposals for LGBT issues to be taught in schools, and the Scottish Government began to work with the charity to develop policy recommendations.