Meet this year's amazing #YLSAwards winners!

A huge congratulations to our newest array of National Youth Work Awards winners! Meet the faces and the teams behind some of the very best youth work in Scotland.

Well done to all our incredible National Youth Work Awards winners after a vibrant awards ceremony at the Hilton DoubleTree in Glasgow! 

We would like to say a massive thanks to our category sponsors for making such a special evening possible: BBC Children in Need, CLD Standards Council Scotland, Creative Scotland, Education Scotland, NKBL Scotland, Outdoor Learning Network, Scottish Police Federation, SKY, Skills Development Scotland, Winning Scotland & Planet Youth, YMCA Scotland, Young Scot, and Youth Scotland.

Your continued support for Scotland’s youth workers makes a huge difference, and the National Youth Work Awards wouldn’t be the same without you!

And also a huge thank you to our funny, charismatic, inspiring host John Loughton who just happens to know a thing or two about youth work! Amazing work on stage throughout the evening to make sure everyone was entertained and things ran as smoothly as ever! 

Congratulations to all our winners and finalists, who are all showcasing the powerful impact of youth work.  

The event itself may be over but let’s continue to share, tweet, and celebrate the #YLSAwards, as this event serves as an ongoing source of inspiration.  

Now, without further ado, let’s meet the winners of the 2024 #YLSAwards! 

Arts & Creativity

Arts and Creativity Brass Blast
Brass Blast Oi Musica picks up the award for Arts & Creativity

Sponsored by Creative Scotland

Winner: Brass Blast – Oi Musica

Brass Blast combines the harmony of music with youth leadership, engaging 80 young musicians weekly. This inclusive programme fosters personal growth and empowerment through music, boasting a 100% improvement in musical skills and 90% boost in self-confidence. Highlighted by a collaboration with the National Youth Brass Band at the 2023 Edinburgh International Festival, Brass Blast exemplifies the transformative power of youth work. 


Read more: Arts & Creativity | #YLSAwards

Community-Based Youth Work

Community Based Youth Work Kincardine and Mearns
Kincardine and Mearns Youth Clubs picked up an award for our Community-Based Youth Work category.

Sponsored by Youth Scotland

Winner: Kincardine and Mearns Youth Clubs 

In just a year, Kincardine and Mearns Youth Clubs sparked a rural youth revolution, establishing three new projects. By reintroducing free youth work after 12 years and ensuring youth voices are heard, they now support over 200 young people. Dawn Black’s leadership and dedicated volunteers have transformed lives, making KMYC a beacon of youth empowerment in the community. 


Read more: Community-based Youth Work | #YLSAwards

Digital & STEM

Rachel Piper picks up her Digital & STEM National Youth Work Award
Brag Enterprise's Rachel Piper was our 2024 Digital & STEM winner

Sponsored by Sky Up

Winner: Rachel Piper – Brag Enterprises 

Rachel Piper of BRAG Enterprises has revolutionised youth work in Fife through digital learning and gaming. Partnering with Abertay’s School of Design and Informatics, she led a programme where young people created a playable game, now the centrepiece of their Tech Hub. With 50% of participants moving to positive outcomes, Rachel’s work highlights the power of innovation in youth employability. 


Read more: Digital & STEM | #YLS Awards

Environment and Outdoor Learning

Ross Muir, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, came away with our Environment & Outdoor Learning award.

Sponsored by the Outdoor Learning Network

Winner: Ross Muir – The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 

Ross Muir, North Ayrshire’s mountain man, has dedicated over 20 years to the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) programme. Supporting 400 young people last year in delivering 5000 volunteer hours, Ross’s infectious passion for the outdoors inspires youth to overcome barriers. His commitment to outdoor learning and youth development has made DofE synonymous with his name in North Ayrshire. 


Read more: Environment & Conservation | #YLSAwards

Equality & Diversity

#E Project pick up their award for Equality & Diversity at our National Youth Work Awards 2024.
Adoption UK in Scotland's #E Project picked up their Equality & Diversity Award.

Sponsored by YMCA Scotland

Winner: #E Project – Adoption UK in Scotland 

The #E Project, serving adoptive, kinship, and FASD families, reaches 128 young people aged 2-to-28 across Scotland. Focusing on developmental stages, the project creates an empathetic environment led by individuals with lived experience. By celebrating care-experienced identities and producing resources like the #E Zone Magazine, the project empowers young people to voice their experiences and challenges, fostering personal growth and resilience. 


Read more: Equality & Diversity | #YLSAwards

Health & Wellbeing

Scottish Huntington's Association Youth Service walked away with our Health & Wellbeing award.

Sponsored by BBC Children in Need

Winner: Scottish Huntington’s Association Youth Service 

The Scottish Huntington’s Association Youth Service supports 200 young people from families impacted by Huntington’s disease. With 80% as young carers, this service focuses on youth participation and leadership. By providing tailored support through Youth Advisors and fostering a sense of community, the service helps young people navigate their unique challenges, raising awareness and promoting understanding on national and international levels. 


Read more: Health & Wellbeing | #YLSAwards

Inclusion and Prevention

Friday Night Football, Girvan Youth Trust, came out on top of the Inclusion & Prevention category.

Sponsored by No Knives Better Lives

Winner: Friday Night Football – Girvan Youth Trust 

Friday Night Football in Girvan tackles issues like violence and sectarianism using football as a catalyst. This partnership project has led to a 22% decrease in youth disorder on Friday evenings. By building positive relationships and promoting active lifestyles, it provides a safe space for young people, transforming Friday nights from a time of trouble to a time of growth and community. 


Read more: Inclusion & Prevention | #YLS Awards

Inspirational Leader

The Citadel Youth Centre Team were on hand to pick up Willie Barr's Inspirational Leader award.

Sponsored by Scottish Police Federation

Winner: Willie Barr – Citadel Youth Centre 

Willie Barr, a legendary figure in Leith, has led Citadel Youth Centre for over 20 years. His leadership has expanded the centre’s reach, earning accolades for intergenerational practice and family support work. From culinary events with Michelin-starred chefs to pioneering fundraising models, Willie’s dedication to youth work principles has unified the community and transformed countless young lives. 


Read more: Inspirational Leader | #YLSAwards

Participation & Youth Voice

Castlemilk Youth Complex Board of Directors won our Participation & Youth Voice award.

Sponsored by Winning Scotland & Planet Youth

Winner: Castlemilk Youth Complex Board of Directors 

Castlemilk Youth Complex (CYC), Scotland’s largest independent youth organisation, is entirely youth-led. Governed by young people aged 16-to-25, CYC designs all its programmes and services. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, CYC’s diverse initiatives—from drop-in activities to outreach programmes—amplify young voices and impact the entire Castlemilk community, proving the power of youth-led decision-making. 



Read more: Participation & Youth Voice | #YLSAwards

Recognising Skills and Achievement

Routes - Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs won the Recognising Skills & Achievement category.

Sponsored by Skills Development Scotland

Winner: Routes – Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs 

Routes provides a lifeline to 12-to-26 year-olds in East and West Dunbartonshire affected by family substance misuse. By offering tailored support, Routes combats stigma, poverty, and instability, helping young people build confidence and aspirations. Achievements include aiding 62 young people towards further education or employment and supporting 28 care-experienced young people, proving that with the right support, dreams can be achieved. 


Read more: Recognising Skills and Achievement | #YLSAwards

Team of the Year

OPEN Team Shetland were our Team of the Year winners.

Sponsored by CLD Standards Council for Scotland

Winner: OPEN Team – OPEN (Shetland) 

OPEN Team, Shetland’s first youth-led charity, creates a supportive environment where young people thrive. From peer education workshops to “Da Cafe,” their initiatives reached over 1,500 pupils in 2022-23. OPEN’s youth-led approach ensures activities are relevant and impactful, giving Shetland’s youth the tools to shape their own future and making a significant community impact. 


Read more: Team of the Year | #YLSAwards

Volunteer Youth Worker

Willie Mowbray from Larkhall YMCA walked away with our Volunteer Youth Worker award.

Sponsored by Young Scot

Winner: Willie Mowbray – Larkhall YMCA 

Willie Mowbray has dedicated over 42 years to Larkhall YMCA, impacting generations through his mentorship. Believing in the transformative power of athletics, Willie’s guidance extends beyond sports, fostering resilience and self-confidence. His dedication has made Larkhall YMCA a safe space for young people, earning him the reputation of the club’s kindest and most generous youth worker. 


Read more: Volunteer Youth Worker | #YLSAwards

Youth Worker of the Year

Laura Kiltie - Dumfries & Galloway Council. Our Youth Worker of the Year for 2024!

Sponsored by Education Scotland

Winner: Laura Kiltie – Dumfries & Galloway Council 

Laura Kiltie, deeply woven into Dumfries and Galloway’s community, epitomises transformative youth work in Wigtownshire. Renowned for spearheading partnerships and significant initiatives, Laura’s proactive ethos has led to tangible enhancements in youth engagement. Celebrated and loved by the young people she supports, Laura’s unwavering presence and advocacy provide a lifeline for many, making her an integral part of the youth work landscape. 


Read more: Youth Worker of the Year | #YLSAwards

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Sponsored by YouthLink Scotland

Mark Lovie

Mark Lovie – Fersands and Fountain SCIO 

Mark Lovie has dedicated 38 years to Fersands and Fountain SCIO, transforming it into a community hub. Starting as a youth worker and now leading the service, Mark’s innovative programmes and youth-led services have impacted countless lives, making him a true lifetime achiever. 

Marion Hughes

Marion Hughes – St Paul’s Youth Forum 

Marion Hughes, a founding member of St. Paul’s Youth Forum, has dedicated over 60 years to youth work. Her ability to connect with young people and her tireless commitment have transformed her community. Marion’s legacy of unity and support has made Blackhill a safer, more peaceful place.

Sandy Campbell

Sandy Campbell – WorkingRite 

Sandy Campbell, founder of WorkingRite, has revolutionised youth employability across Scotland. From its inception around a kitchen table to its status as a nationally recognised charity, Sandy’s work has provided practical pathways to success for thousands, leaving an enduring legacy as he steps into retirement.

Marty MacBean – Highland Girls’ Brigade 

Margaret “Marty” MacBean, with over 70 years of service, has been a pillar of the Girls’ Brigade. Her dedication and kindness have inspired generations, making her a cornerstone of her community. Marty’s genuine care and unwavering commitment have left an indelible mark on countless lives. 

Read more: Lifetime Achievement | #YLSAwards