THE head of BBC Children in Need Scotland has been presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Youth Worker of the Year Awards.
Fraser Falconer, 62, received the prestigious gong from Children’s Minister Aileen Campbell MSP for many years’ service to youth work.
Since 1990, Mr Falconer, who lives in Linlithgow, has helped distribute around £80 million of Children in Need grants, helping to change lives right across Scotland.
Having graduated from Edinburgh University, Mr Falconer began his full-time career as a youth worker in the Highlands.
He then worked for Oxfam for nine years, travelling to Bangladesh, India and Egypt before leaving to become the manager of a furniture and electrical recycling project. He also managed a work training programme in Glasgow’s East End.
When he is away from the office, Mr Falconer enjoys a variety of different hobbies, with sport being a constant in his life.
He is a season ticket holder at Falkirk FC, with rugby and running 10k races also featuring heavily in his schedule. He also enjoys reading books on subjects such as coal and steel.
Married to wife Lindsay for 38 years, Mr Falconer dotes on daughters Kaira and Amy as well as four-month-old granddaughter Iris.
He said: “The generosity of people to give their money and trust that we’ll spend it for the good of children and young people makes BBC Children in Need Scotland very special.
“It shows that below some of the daily bad news, good people are considerate of others and in turn local volunteers and workers really then make a difference for local children.
“Over the years, it’s been very rewarding and inspiring to see what young people can achieve with good support and, importantly, challenging leadership.
“Most young people are aware that their future might take them in unlikely directions.
“I feel incredibly honoured that this award comes from my contemporaries. I started off my full-time work career as a youth worker and have continued whenever possible to promote the values of youth work.
“To be recognised in this way is an amazing accolade from those who daily give unstinting and incredible service to young people across all of Scotland.”
Colleagues were quick to pay tribute to Mr Falconer’s tireless work with young people.
BBC Children in Need chief executive David Ramsden said: “I’m delighted for Fraser, and this is a real tribute to his incredible commitment and energy to changing young lives.”
Youthlink Scotland CEO Jim Sweeney added: “Fraser has enthusiasm, drive and a real belief in our young people. I’m delighted to see his work recognised.”