A DISABLED youngster with a talent for poetry and a teenage singing sensation have been honoured at the Young Scot Awards.
Adam Bojelian won the Arts Award despite writing all his verses by blinking to spell out words and phrases, which is the only way he can communicate.
The 12-year-old, who lives in the New Town, is blind and suffers from cerebral palsy. He cannot walk or talk and has limited use of his hands, but has won several accolades for his work, including a Brit Writers Award.
Dad Paul said: “He never ceases to amaze me, he takes everything in his stride. This is his third award. Every time we think ‘that’s it’, he thinks up another poem.”
The awards celebrate 11 to 26-year-olds who have made a positive impact on the lives of others and made a difference in their communities.
Teen performer Nina Nesbitt, 17, who is touted as Scotland’s next big singing star, received the Entertainment Award.
She said: “It’s a real honour to be given this award, especially in my own country among other inspiring people.”
After playing to sell-out crowds at the O2 ABC in Glasgow in October as the support act for Ed Sheeran, Nina, who lives in Balerno, launched a competition to find support acts for her own mini UK tour.
More than 800 guests attended the awards ceremony at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel. Guests including acid attack survivor Katie Piper and BBC weathergirl Cat Cubie were treated to entertainment from X Factor winner Matt Cardle.
Six nominees from the Lothians were invited to the ceremony, including Emma Donaghy-Gray, 21, from Whitecraig in East Lothian, who was a finalist in the Diversity and Citizenship category after sharing her experiences of overcoming postnatal depression.
West Lothian’s Graeme Black was a finalist 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, reached 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 each other’s heartbeat.
Kick (Kids In Care Krew), a group of Midlothian youngsters in residential, foster or kinship care, was a finalist in the Diversity and Citizenship category.
Louise Macdonald, chief executive of Young Scot, said: “This year we received a record number of nominations, highlighting the positive contributions young people are making every day to their local communities.”