The Donald Stewart Memorial Trust award for 2019 has been won by Hannah Macleod, from Tarbert, Harris, a 6th year pupil in Sir E Scott School.  

Despite a number of extremely strong nominations for the Award, the Trust decided unanimously that this year’s award be made to Hannah. 

Hannah was selected by Trustees for achieving a number of tough personal goals, despite facing her own personal challenges.

The Trustees were highly impressed by Hannah’s commitment to her studies and how she managed to make time to support and represent causes both within school and also at community level.  

Throughout 6th year Hannah has carried out her “prefect duties” with great commitment and enthusiasm; has displayed excellent leadership skills in chairing the Pupil Council, taking on the role of DYW Ambassador, working with the upper primary pupils and always eager and willing to assist at all school fundraising and social events. 

 Hannah has also shared with pupils across the secondary what it is like to live with a condition like Diabetes and was a regular participant at the PSYV (Police Scotland Young Volunteer programme). 

Earlier this year, Hannah undertook Lifeguard training and gained the necessary certificate of competency which enables her now to assist with the primary pupils swimming block. Another fantastic achievement.

But the pinnacle of Hannah’s achievements and what most moved the trustees was Hannah’s work in the Sgoil Àraich.  Hannah has demonstrated a real flair in working with the young children in the Sgoil Àraich and, following a placement in the Sgoil Àraich, has passed her SVQ2 Qualification.

She has demonstrated the capacity to lead, with support, in the Sgoil Àraich setting and has taken on responsibility in planning and delivering activities and in working alongside the staff members.  In order to enable her to work in a Gaelic pre-school setting, Hannah, who is not a fluent Gaelic-speaker, is now aiming to develop her Gaelic-speaking skills.  Also, to pass her driving test.

The Award, which is presented annually by the Donald Stewart Memorial Trust, in memory of the long and distinguished service provided by the late MP for the Western Isles, was presented to Hannah by Donald Martin, Lord-Lieutenant of the Western Isles, himself a Hearach, coming from Bunavoneader, Harris.

Chair of the Trustees, Margaret Martin said, “The Trustees were highly impressed with the overall quality of this year’s submissions but were unanimous in their decision to make the award to Hannah.  

“We were delighted to learn of Hannah’s many achievements both within the school environment but also out with the school. 

“ I congratulate Hannah on winning this award and wish her well in all that she does in the future.  It is evident that we have a wealth of talented young people in the Western Isles.  I wish to thank the schools for their continuing support with the competition, without whom, the competition would not exist.”

The Donald Stewart Memorial Trust was set up following a fund-raising campaign to establish a Trust which would disburse awards to young people in the Western Isles to commemorate the outstanding work of the late Donald Stewart MP.

The Trust makes an annual award to an individual 5th or 6th year pupil from any of the secondary schools in the Western Isles for, “outstanding achievement”. The “outstanding achievement” could be attained within the school, perhaps an academic achievement which has been recognised as outstanding at a national or indeed inter-national level or it could be for someone who has attained, “outstanding achievement” in their own community, perhaps an act of outstanding community service or an act of bravery or other self-sacrifice.

Current Trustees are Uilleam Macdonald, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Marina Murray, Comunn na Gàidhlig, (Secretary), Leslie Graham (Treasurer), Iain MacAulay, and Margaret Martin, Chair of the Western Isles SNP Constituency, (Chair). 

In 2019, the Trust established a new Award to be presented to a pupil for, “Significant contribution to Gaelic development”.  It was decided to establish this new Award to recognise Donald Stewart’s work on Gaelic, whilst serving as MP for the Western Isles.  The first winner of this award will be announced at towards the end of this month.  

In the picture with Hannah – Aileen M MacSween, Headteacher, Sir E Scott School; Marina Murray, The Donald Stewart Memorial Trust; and Donald Martin, HM Lord-Lieutenant of the Western Isles