Mark Lovie, Fersands and Fountain SCIO

Full of revolt for an unjust world and wanting to make a difference, Mark Lovie started as a youth worker at Fersands in Aberdeen as a young man. 38 years later he has achieved so much in making a difference to so many lives and continues to do so. 

He has been a total stalwart at Fersands and Fountain SCIO, starting as a youth worker and rising to lead the entire service.  

Mark’s story began with a passion ignited during his youth, inspired by his own youth workers. Armed with a diploma in Youth and Community Work, he embarked on a mission to make a difference.  

Under his leadership, Fersands stands as the embodiment of hope and optimism for local young people and the community. Mark’s advocacy for youth-led services has led to innovative programmes, including a partnership for youth counselling with no waiting lists. His approach to tackling societal issues, exemplified by winning the ‘Organisation of the Year’ award in 2023, has gained recognition and admiration. 

But Mark’s true legacy lies in the lives he’s touched. From providing opportunities for personal growth to making sure his young people had a real sense of belonging, his impact goes down through generations. Many former young people now volunteer or work at Fersands, putting back to the youth project that supported them on their journey.  

His legacy will continue to inspire and uplift young people for generations to come, embodying the essence of the ‘lifetime achievement award.’ 

In a world yearning for positive change, Mark has taken his thirst for social justice and young people and created an outstanding legacy for this community.  

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Sandy Campbell, WorkingRite

Somewhere in Leith, round a kitchen table, an idea was born. Little did Sandy Campbell know that his vision, conceived in the early 2000s, would evolve into a hugely successful programme for thousands of young people across Scotland. Fast forward to 2024, as Sandy, the founder of WorkingRite, prepares to step into a well-deserved retirement and a stonking legacy.  

WorkingRite emerged from Sandy’s desire to offer a lifeline to young people who found themselves adrift when it came to thriving in education and employment. For those who couldn’t cope with the confines of traditional classrooms, Sandy envisioned a practical pathway to success. He transformed this concept into reality, establishing WorkingRite as a Community Interest Company (CIC) before it became a full-fledged charity in 2008. 

Sandy’s journey didn’t begin with WorkingRite; it was a culmination of nearly three decades spent in England, where he worked with community groups and advising local authorities on strategies for engagement and employability. His passion and values go right through WorkingRite, from its inception to its current status as a nationally recognised model for youth employability. 

Central to Sandy’s approach is his emphasis on rites of passage and adolescent brain development, pioneering methodologies that have become standard practice in the field. As WorkingRite expanded its reach to encompass five different local authority areas, Sandy’s impact multiplied, touching the lives of thousands of young people every year. 

Throughout his career, Sandy’s voice has resonated beyond Scotland’s borders, earning him respect as a revered figure internationally.  

At the heart of his legacy lies his staunch commitment to the “forgotten 20%,” the young people who slipped through the cracks of the education system. His concept of a “working rite of passage” breathed life into small community businesses, providing invaluable workplace experience and meaningful employment opportunities. 

Yet, perhaps Sandy’s greatest legacy is the relationships he nurtured along the way, the mentorship that guided young people through the highs and lows of their journey. Through his steadfast dedication and unwavering belief in the potential of every young person, Sandy’s legacy is woven into the fabric of WorkingRite.  

As he prepares to bid farewell to the project that was conceived round a kitchen table, his work will stand as testament to the transformative power of compassion, commitment, and community.  

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Marty MacBean, Highland Girls’ Brigade

Margaret, affectionately known as Marty, is a pillar of dedication and kindness in the Girls’ Brigade community. With over 70 years as a youth work volunteer, Marty’s journey began at the tender age of 7, and since then, she has served tirelessly as both a girl and leader. In 1964, Marty assumed the role of a leader, igniting a lifelong passion for nurturing the girls of Cauldeen and Hilton. Her selfless dedication is evident in every aspect of her involvement, from her 20-year tenure as Division Secretary to her enthusiastic participation in events. 

What sets Marty apart is her genuine care for each young girl she works with.  People talk about her warmth and kindness, always placing the girls’ best interests at the forefront. Marty’s impact extends beyond the Girls’ Brigade meetings; she takes the time to understand the complexities of each child’s family situation, offering support and guidance. 

Despite receiving accolades such as the British Empire Medal in 2017, Marty remains humble, deflecting praise and ensuring others are recognised. Her enduring enthusiasm and adaptability have not only kept her company vibrant for 60 years but have also inspired generations of leaders and members alike. 

In a world where consistency is rare, Marty’s presence has provided a safe haven for countless girls in Inverness. Through her gentle demeanor and empathetic ear, Marty has touched the lives of many, leaving an indelible mark on the Girls’ Brigade community and beyond. 

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Marion Hughes, St Paul’s Youth Forum

As a founding member of St Paul’s Youth Forum in Glasgow, Marion Hughes has been working with young people for over 60 years.  

Marion knows just how to connect with everyone, meeting them right where they are. Whether running clubs or supporting young mums through Little Feet, Marion’s work touches every part of this community.  

Her commitment goes beyond mere hours; she has dedicated an astonishing 25,000 hours to supporting young people, often while balancing a full-time job. Her influence extends beyond her direct interactions, as she nurtures the next generation of youth workers and a culture of community engagement. 

Marion’s legacy transcends boundaries, exemplified by her work in breaking down barriers and bringing unity to her community. Through her efforts, friendships have flourished where once there was division, transforming lives and perceptions. 

In a neighbourhood where violence used to be common, Marion’s presence has made a real difference. Her work has helped turn Blackhill into a safer and more peaceful place for everyone. 

Her colleague Nick Young said of her:  

“Marion is one of the main change makers in our community. With so much experience, many families have a huge trust in her. As someone who has worked with four generations of young people, and now working with some great grandchildren, we are fortunate to have someone who has so much family knowledge and care.”

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