Youngsters lined up to do Lothians proud in awards

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a MUM who battled post-natal depression and a disabled youngster with a talent for poetry are among the finalists in this year’s Young Scot Awards.

Six nominees from the Lothians will attend an awards ceremony in Glasgow next month.

The awards celebrate 11-26-year-olds who have made a positive impact on the lives of others and made a difference in their communities.

Emma Donaghy-Gray, 21, from Whitecraig in East Lothian, is a finalist in the Diversity and Citizenship category after sharing her experiences of overcoming post-natal depression at the Parenting Across Scotland event last year.

She said: “It was a nice surprise to reach the final. I’m quite proud.”

Young poet Adam Bojelian, from the New Town, is a finalist in the Arts category.

The blind 12-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, spells out his verses by blinking – which is the only way he can communicate.

Singer Nina Nesbitt’s talents have also earned her a trip to the Hilton Hotel on April 26.

The 17-year-old from Balerno is a finalist in the Entertainment category. She said: “I felt honoured when I found out I was a finalist, it’s quite a big thing.”

West Lothian’s Graeme Black has been nominated in the Community category. The 21-year-old from Whitburn works with drop-in centres, the YMCA and helps youngsters with learning difficulties.

Joanna Montgomery, 24, from South Queensferry, was shocked to reach the final of the Enterprise category. As a student, she developed an interactive pillow case which connects couples who are living apart by letting them hear the heartbeat of their beloved.

She said: “I was kind of surprised to reach the final because I didn’t nominate myself ”

The Lothians is also represented in the Diversity and Citizenship category by KICK – Kids In Care Krew – a group of Midlothian youngsters in residential, foster or kinship care.

THE NOMINEES

Joanna Montgomery, 24, from South Queensferry, is a finalist in the Enterprise category

• Joanna developed an interactive pillow case which connects couples who are living apart by letting them hear the heartbeat of their beloved.

“Pillow Talk” aims to connect couples in long-distance relationships through sensor rings worn in bed at night and a panel which slots inside their pillow cases. The sensors pick up heartbeats and wirelessly transmits them via smartphone apps on a mobile phone to the other person’s pillow.

Adam Bojelian, 12, from the New Town, is a finalist in the Arts category

• Adam, who is severely disabled and communicates solely through blinking, was selected for his talent in writing poetry – despite writing all his poems by blinking to spell out words and phrases.

Balerno teenager Nina Nesbitt, 17, is a finalist in the Entertainment category

• Nina is touted as Scotland’s next big singing sensation. After playing to sell-out crowds at the 02 ABC in Glasgow in October last year as the support act for Ed Sheeran, Nina launched a competition to find support acts for her own mini-UK tour.

Emma Donaghy-Gray, 21, from Whitecraig in East Lothian, is a finalist in the Diversity and Citizenship category

n Emma was nominated after sharing her personal experiences of overcoming post-natal depression after her son Zak was born in April 2010.

KICK, Kids In Care Krew, have been selected as finalists in the Diversity and Citizenship category

• KICK is a group of young people in Midlothian who are in residential, foster or kinship care.

Graeme Black, 21, from Whitburn in West Lothian, has been selected as a finalist in the Community category

• Graeme has been involved with a local drop-in centre over the last few years, which offers support and information to young people.