Great Scot Awards

BT is encouraging its people, family and friends, partners and customers to help choose the winner of its inaugural BT Connecting Communities award. The honour is a new part of the annual Sunday Mail Great Scots awards, which recognise the courage, determination and selflessness of unsung heroes who make a difference to other people’s lives.

Four community champions have been shortlisted for the BT award and a public vote to select the winner has now opened.

You can vote for your favourite at www.greatscotawards.co.uk – takes 2 minutes. Closing date for voting is Friday 3rd October.

• Alison Brown, of Tranent, East Lothian, set up the Superstar Sports Club in Musselburgh after her six year old son Ethan was diagnosed with severe brittle bone disease. It gives disabled youngsters aged three to eight a place to enjoy lots of different sports. As well as being her son’s main carer, Alison is campaigning for councils to introduce beach wheelchairs so that children of all abilities can enjoy playing in the sand.

• The Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre team are keeping alive the incredible history of the air station and the fundamental role played by the RAF and its predecessor, the Royal Flying Corps, in the skies through two world wars. From giving talks to school children and building replica aircraft to washing dishes and serving in the shop, the 30-strong group of volunteers, aged from 16 to 79, work round the clock at the museum to preserve history for future generations.

• Margaret Miller of Springboig, Glasgow, is Scotland’s oldest volunteer. The 104-year-old has been serving her community for more than 75 years. She joined the Women’s Voluntary Service when WW2 broke out and is the longest serving member of the charity, now known as the Royal Voluntary Service. Much of her work is with a stroke club she set up in the 1970s at the local Lightburn Hospital, to offer people friendship and support in the aftermath of a stroke.

• Retired policeman Alan Michael of Inverness has made it his mission to make sure no-one in his community feels isolated or alone, touching thousands of lives over the past 34 years. Alan has set up hundreds of friendship clubs all over Inverness-shire, as well as a talking newspaper for the visually impaired, a library service for the housebound and a morning call service for the elderly. His latest project is the Men’s Shed in Inverness – a workshop where men over 50 meet every week to do woodwork, metalwork and other creative arts.

The BT & Sunday Mail Great Scot Awards honour ordinary people whose stories of courage, determination and selflessness make the nation proud. More than 200 awards have been given out since the first ceremony in 1991. This year’s star-studded event takes place in Glasgow on October 25.

Money raised at the awards will go towards The Sunday Mail Centenary Fund, which aims to raise £1m for 17 of Scotland’s top charities and is supported by BT MyDonate.