Our nominees for Woman of Influence 2016 award

Posted by / Monday 14 March 2016 /

Action for Children Scotland has announced the shortlist for its 16th annual Woman of Influence Award.

The prestigious award recognises remarkable Scottish women who have had an outstanding impact on society and are role models to the disadvantaged children, young people, and families the charity supports.

This year’s nominees are:

  • Maureen McGonigle, Founder, Scottish Women in Sport
  • Patricia Comiskey, Advocate, Faculty of Advocates
  • Anne Lorne Gillies, Singer/Songwriter
  • Linda McDonald OBE, The Linda McDonald Charitable Trust, MUMs (Malawi Underprivileged Mothers)
  • Lady Susan Haughey, Director, City Refrigeration

The winner will be announced by host Radio Clyde’s Diane Knox at an awards luncheon at The Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow on Sunday, March 20. Last year’s award was received by Linda Urquhart OBE, chairman at Morton Fraser.

"The Woman of Influence Award recognises women who have a real impact on their own community and beyond."

Paul Carberry, director of children’s services at Action for Children Scotland

Action for Children Scotland has also honoured Gina Thom, 20, from Glasgow with the ‘Woman of Influence Community Award’. This special award is given to a young woman who has transformed her life as a result of the support she has received from Action for Children Scotland.

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From an early age Gina was placed under the kinship care of her grandmother by social work services as her mum was unable to care for her and her siblings. Gina was 17 years old when she was referred to Action for Children Scotland’s Transitions project. This service offers intensive key work support for looked-after people in the community, with the aim of supporting them to overcome barriers preventing them entering the job market.

The project was initially able to support her through temporary employment with a local company before supporting her to successfully obtain a modern apprenticeship with Glasgow City Council. Gina was then put forward for a Community Jobs Fund post with Action for Children and was successful. She has since had her contract extended and is a valuable member of the team. Furthermore, as well as being in full-time work, she has her own home and is back in contact with her family.

Gina said: “The Transitions Project in Glasgow has helped me a great deal and I’m really happy that I now work for the charity that helped me through difficult times. This job has allowed me to do so many great things including speaking to Government Ministers about the work it does. Where I am now is down to the work of all the staff at Action for Children, I am really grateful for all the support they have provided me. It’s a huge honour to receive the ‘Woman of Influence Community Award’ and I am so excited about going to the event.”

Commenting on Gina’s award, Paul Carberry added: “I’m thrilled that Gina is the recipient of the community award. She is an inspiration to the young women our services support.”

"The Woman of Influence Award has raised more than £1million for Action for Children Scotland since the event launched in 2001, and we have our sights set on the next million. I am incredibly proud to be part of such a landmark fundraiser. This event makes a huge difference to the lives of the disadvantaged children and young people that Action for Children Scotland supports – all whilst celebrating the successes of brilliant women in Scotland."

Amy Newlands is the chair of the Woman of Influence Awards 2016 committee

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