We are delighted to introduce the 2016 Muscular Dystrophy UK Inspire Awards winners.
The awards were held at our Scottish Conference on Saturday 22 October at the Golden Jubilee Hotel in Glasgow. Kirsten Oswald MP presented the awards.
Here are this year’s winners:
David Gale – Campaigner of the Year
Campaigning is a vital part of the work we do at Muscular Dystrophy UK. It provides the opportunity to highlight issues that need to be addressed, to help ensure a better quality of life for those with muscular dystrophy.
David Gale, who has Becker muscular dystrophy, has been an active Trailblazer for the charity for a number of years, helping to raise awareness on a number of different campaigns and reports, including access to public transport and spectator sports. David embodies the ‘can do’ attitude of the Trailblazers and their determination to remove barriers in society. David’s efforts have also seen reports run by ITV and Third Force News.
Mairi Leitch – Volunteer of the Year
At the core of our fundraising activities within the charity are our wonderful volunteers, who give up their time to help make a difference for others.
Mairi Leitch, who has limb girdle muscular dystrophy, demonstrates all of these qualities. Along with her sons, Marc and Arron, who have the same condition, Mairi has dedicated much of her time to helping organise fundraising events. This year, Mairi took part in a charity abseil event, and held two successful ‘Move a Mile for Muscles’ events – raising thousands of pounds. Mairi has also registered, along with five family and friends, to take part in next year’s Make Today Count skydive event.
Yvonne Grant – Community Champion
Yvonne (left) has showed extreme drive and passion in making a difference for others. She has shown support by attending Scottish Parliament meetings and research conferences. She has even travelled overseas to influence and tackle important decisions being made in the wider muscular dystrophy community. Yvonne has become a well-known name and character in the Duchenne community, and has shown invaluable support at various fundraising events.
David Watson – Lifetime Achievement Award
We are always amazed by the incredible commitment our supporters show over the years. One supporter in particular has been with the charity for over 20 years, and has helped make a solid contribution to the future of Muscular Dystrophy UK.
David Watson, who has Bethlem myopathy, has given his time to help and support the charity in many ways. His achievements include hosting an annual film night, serving as a member of the Scottish council, and countless fundraising events. Thanks to David’s contributions, he has helped raise over £24,000 for the charity.
Michael Young – Scottish Saltire Award
A new award for this year, the Scottish Saltire Award recognises the younger Scottish supporters who have made a positive impact on the charity’s work.
Michael Young is a remarkable young boy. When the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) rejected funding for Translarna – the first therapy available to treat an underlying cause of Duchenne muscular dystrophy – Michael was determined not to take it as the final answer. He wrote a moving letter to the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, asking for help in approving funding for the drug to help and others. The family also launched a petition against the SMC’s decision, which saw an overwhelming over 150,000. Michael eventually met Nicola Sturgeon face-to-face, and, just months later, received the news that the SMC had reversed their decision.