AN 18-year old member of The Boys’ Brigade in Scotland has been presented with one of the organisation’s most coveted accolades at a special presentation at BBC Broadcasting House.
Lewis Shillinglaw, a member of the 1st Loanhead Company was presented with the “2016 Make a Difference Award” for Scotland by Lord Leslie Griffiths, President of The Boys’ Brigade and BBC Radio 2 Presenter Chris Evans at a special presentation inside the studios of Radio 2 on October 12.
The teenager, who is studying geography at Dundee University, was interviewed live on air by Evans during his Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 before being presented with the award. At the Scotland presentation earlier this year, Lewis received the award from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
He said: “To have met Nicola Sturgeon was brilliant and to now have travelled to London and appear on radio is truly unbelievable.
“I’m very grateful to Chris Evans for doing this with us all and I hope that this may encourage more young people to begin volunteering as well.
“I started the Boys’ Brigade when I was seven – I was in the Anchor Boys then the junior section, then seniors and finally I trained to be an officer.
“The officers do a good job and I always wanted to help out and bring new ideas and my enthusiasm to the brigade.
“The BBs is brilliant fun. I love the social aspect and would urge boys to give it a go and see how they like it.
“There’s no pressure to do the whole ten years service like I did and they can leave at any time but it’s very rewarding. I volunteered but it never felt like I was completing a chore.”
The UK-wide awards were established in 2009 which recognises and celebrates the achievement of a BB young person who has gone above and beyond to help others.
Bill Stevenson, Acting CEO of The Boys’ Brigade, said: “Congratulations to Lewis, we are exceptionally proud of him. Like so many BB young people, he has gone above and beyond to help others.
“The Boys’ Brigade aims to make a difference in the lives of young people, like Lewis who give so much to help others. He is an inspiration and thoroughly deserves this recognition.”
Lewis carried out a remarkable amount of volunteering for the Thornton Rose Riding for the Disabled Project. He has spent in excess of 220 hours assisting the charity, which provides riding opportunities for people of all ages and disabilities. He chose to support this charity for the volunteering section of his Queen’s Badge – the highest award.
In Scotland, The Boys’ Brigade cares for and challenges young people through a programme of informal education. Each week around 20,000 young people, aged five to 18, take part in one of its 430 groups.