One of the great privileges of my role as Lord-Lieutenant is having the chance to meet people of all backgrounds and ages throughout Midlothian.
In the course of a typical year, my team of Deputy Lieutenants and I are often on hand presenting 100th birthday cards or Diamond Wedding anniversary cards, attending UK Citizenship ceremonies and taking part in Remembrance Sunday parades, all on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.
This year, we are turning our attention to younger generations across Midlothian. To celebrate the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People, working closely with Midlothian Council and our local YOYP Ambassadors, we have launched Midlothian’s Young People Awards to shine a spotlight on some of the young unsung heroes of our area.
There are six awards, with categories reflecting the various positive contributions of young people to Midlothian – caring and volunteering; the local community; sport and physical activity; arts and culture and learning. From all of the nominations, we will also be selecting a winner of the Midlothian Prize for a really outstanding contribution.
Nominations for the awards can be made by parents, relatives, employers, youth organisations, schools or colleges but must be in by the closing date of June 29. Nominees should be aged between eight and 26 and must live, study or work in Midlothian at the time of their nomination. The process is simple – there is more information about each award category and an online application form at www.midlothian.gov.uk or you can pick up a nomination form from any Midlothian Council library or leisure centre.
A judging panel, which, appropriately, will include a young person representative, will then select winners for each award category and these will be announced at an awards ceremony, which I will host, on 31 August.
As well as their own award, each winner will receive a prize on the day that they can gift to a Midlothian community group or local charity of their choice. These awards are being made in Midlothian and I am grateful to our local sponsors – Dalkeith Country Park and Restoration Yard, Hunters Coaches, Procure Wizard and CALA Homes Midlothian Bursary for their generous support of the scheme.
If it’s successful, we hope that Midlothian’s Young People Awards will become an annual celebration of the achievements and contribution made to Midlothian by the area’s young people. The Year of Young People may be specific to 2018 but we have a lot to celebrate.
I am constantly impressed and inspired by the outstanding contributions made by young people to our communities across Midlothian. Through this new awards scheme, I am delighted that we will be able to recognise some of their achievements – and I hope that you will help us by making a nomination.
Sir Robert Clerk is Lord-Lieutenant of Midlothian.