The creators of a 10 day long festival on the most northerly inhabited island in Britain, a remarkable scheme to help underpin good mental health among school pupils and the public art project which marked Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games were among the winners of the annual Herald Society Awards.

Last night's gala dinner for the Herald Society Awards 2015 also recognised a spectacular social enterprise based in Kintyre. Shopper Aide is nominally there to assist older people with their groceries, but also offers befriending, prescription pick ups, help in the garden, social clubs for men and much more. It won the Older People’s Project of the Year Award, sponsored by Glasgow Caledonian University.

Vincent McKay, dean of the School of Health and Life Sciences at GCU, said: “The awards ceremony was a fantastic event that truly recognised and celebrated the work taking place in the public and voluntary sectors across Scotland.”

Edinburgh City Council scooped the Education Initiative of the Year award, for its Growing Confidence in Secondary Schools Programme, which takes a precautionary attitude to mental health for pupils. Shetland’s UnstFest won Community Project of the Year, and Pidgin Perfect’s Pulse project won the Legacy 2014 award for its public sculptures, both temporary and permanent to mark Glasgow 2014.

The West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership won the Health and Social Care Integration Award – sponsored by Social Work Scotland (SWS) for new work to improve palliative care for older people in care homes, reducing the numbers admitted to hospital in their last days.

Jane Devine, Business Manager at SWS said: “It is so important that we highlight the good work that partnerships aiming to deliver integrated services in health and social care are doing just now. All the winners really stood out.”

Meanwhile eight different voluntary organisations contribute to the Shine Women’s Mentoring Service, which won the Partnership award for helping women offenders make changes aimed at stopping them offending.

Eamon Connolly, director of EVH, which sponsored the Unsung Hero award, said: “We had an excellent set of finalists and it was almost impossible to separate them. But well done, and well-deserved to the winner, George Berstan.”

Jim Sweeney, CEO of YouthLink Scotland congratulated Impact Arts, winners of the Young People’s Project of the Year, describing them as worthy winners in a highly contested category. “YouthLink Scotland looks forward to sharing how their work has changed the lives of the young people for the better.”

Karen McGregor, chief executive of Firstport, which sponsored the Social Entrepreneur of the Year category, congratulated Gregory Chauvet, of Glasgow’s Bike Station on his win. “We are very proud of all the finalists. They are highlighting the vital contribution social enterprise makes to our society and economy.”


The winners

Education initiative of the year

City of Edinburgh Council, Growing Confidence secondary schools programme

Community project of the year


Health and social care integration award, sponsored by Social Work Scotland

West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership – palliative care programme

Young people’s project of the year, sponsored by YouthLink Scotland

Impact Arts – The Young Gallery

Older people’s project of the year, sponsored by GCU School of Health and Life Sciences

Shopper-Aide Ltd – Helping Older People in Kintyre

Environmental Initiative of the Year

Aberdeen City Council – East Tullos Burn Environment Improvements Project

Campaigner(s) of the year

Enable Scotland - #StopTheBus

Partnership Award

Shine Women’s Mentoring Service

Herald Society Worker of the Year

Winner: Tommy Kerr - Queens Cross Youth Homelessness Service

Commended: Kathleen Laverty, University of Strathclyde Law Clinic

Herald Society Team of the Year

North Ayrshire Council, Facilities Management

Unsung Hero Award, sponsored by EVH

Winner: George Berstan, Commendation: Euan MacDonald

Social Entrepreneur of the Year award, sponsored by FirstPort

Gregory Chauvet, Glasgow Bike Station

Legacy 2014 award

Pulse: Pidgin Perfect

Judges Award 2015

Ayrshire College