Selection of images of the winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award 2020

The Lifetime Achievement award recognises those who have consistently shown an outstanding commitment to youth work throughout their lives. Truly part of the youth work sector furniture, these winners deserve all the praise and acclaim they get for providing generations of young people with the opportunity to live a better life. Thank you all for your amazing service!

This award is sponsored by YouthLink Scotland, the national agency for youth work in Scotland.

The winners of the Lifetime Achievement award are:

Jim Boyle, Bridges Project, Musselburgh (Posthumous Award)

Jim Boyle dedicated his working life to the Bridges Project. He built the charity to where it is now: with a staff team of 16 committed professionals, supporting over 500 young people each year with employability and life skills.

As a keen advocate of good governance, his skills and personality were instrumental in winning the support of the Bridges Project’s financial backers.

With Jim’s outstanding leadership, the Bridges Project literally changed the lives of thousands of vulnerable young people. He grew the charity from one that specialised in homelessness to its current operation, employing tutors and a range of support workers specialising in personal development, employability workers, transitions and independent living.

Jim is an advocate for person-centred support with a strong emphasis on the one to one relationship between the young person and worker. It is Jim Boyle’s vision and leadership that enabled the Bridges Project to truly “inspire young people to build a confident future”.

Carol Downie, The Gannochy Trust  

Carol Downie has provided 40 years of continuous leadership and inspiration to the youth work sector and to young people in Scotland. She started as a youth worker with the Scottish Association of Youth Clubs, where her unstinting commitment to improving the lives of young people began. Carol went on to work as chief executive of Fabb, then Youth Scotland, to her current post of CEO of The Gannochy Trust.

She is a tenacious champion of young people and youth work, which is evident to those who know her, and to those have benefitted from her efforts.

Fraser Falconer, former head of Children in Need, believes her dedication leaves a lasting legacy: “Discussions about work with Carol always focussed on the needs of young people. Whether it was organisational change or policy development, her reactions were… ‘what will this mean for young people?’. Her great interpersonal skills and her cooperation with others meant that she made great impact on making things better for young people.”

Annie Hosie MBE, Girls’ Brigade (GB)

Anne Hosie has dedicated half a century to improving the lives and opportunities of young women and girls in Scotland. She has been an officer of the 1st Lochwinnoch GB since she began her youth work career. Since then, she has flourished not only at local level but on the national stage for GB, serving as divisional and then regional commissioner. She has also been both national vice president and president of the organisation.

She is a passionate advocate of outdoor learning, leading on the Duke of Edinburgh Award for GB. During her 50 years she played a key role in many international events, enhancing the lives of many girls both here in Scotland and abroad.

Anne is a remarkable woman, whose commitment, talent and professionalism is recognised and admired by so many within Girls’ Brigade and the wider community.

Bill Stevenson, The Boys’ Brigade (BB)

From childhood spent in the Boys’ Brigade through to leading this national organisation at UK and Irish level, Bill Stevenson has always been a champion of youth voice and participation.

Bill has always put great faith in young people, in their ideas, abilities, skills, talents and vision. He also believes that young people must be involved in shaping the work of the BB and the wider youth work sector. In the last decade, through his leadership, the Committee, which sets the overall direction of the organisation in Scotland, has had 50% of its members under the age of 26, ensuring young people are playing an important role in deciding the future direction of the BB.

As well as his dedication over many decades to the work of the BB, Bill has also been heavily involved in volunteering his time to support the wider youth sector in Scotland. He is currently a board member of YouthLink Scotland and Duke of Edinburgh Scotland.

Colin Easton

A stalwart of youth work in the Scottish Borders since the 1960s, Colin Easton is described by his youth work colleagues over the decades as humble, understated, and an excellent leader, planner and strategist.

His contribution to youth work in the Scottish Borders has and will continue to have a long-lasting impact on young people’s lives. It was his vision that led to the establishment of YouthBorders, created with a collaborative approach to delivering universal and targeted services across the region. This programme of change still exists today in what is now the Scottish Borders Youth Work Partnership, which Colin now chairs in his role as YouthBorders chair. His empowerment of young people is clear, having led his staff to deliver award winning initiatives such as the Scottish Borders Youth Commission on Bullying, Youth Chex and the establishment of Scottish Borders Youth Voice.