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June 6, 2004


From: Glasgow Sunday Mail, UK - Jun 6, 2004

By Lesley Roberts

WHEN Scott Muir signed 'I love you' to his deaf parents there was not a dry eye in the house.

Aged 13, Scott was our youngest Great Scot winner.

The only hearing person in his household, Scott was selected from thousands of unsung heroes by Sunday Mail readers last year for his devotion to his mum, dad and two brothers.

Now we are looking for someone to follow in his footsteps someone special to be named Great Scot 2004.

The Great Scots are a celebration of all that is wonderful about Scotland.

The Sunday Mail, along with our main sponsor Lloyds TSB Scotland, honour ordinary folk who do extraordinary things. These are people who don't seek recognition. On every other day of the year, they get on with their lives quietly.

But we happen to think these unsung heroes of our communities are worthy of reward and if you agree, here's your chance to get involved.

We're looking for your nominations for the Great Scot awards 2004.

Four will be awarded Unsung Hero awards one will be named Great Scot.

Everyone knows someone who works tirelessly for others. Or you may know someone who has made amazing achievements against all the odds.

So who do you think deserves the title Great Scot 2004? Complete the form on the right and return it to us as soon as possible. We'll keep you posted with some of the entries as they come in. This year, TV presenter Dougie Donnelly will host the evening of celebration at Glasgow's Hilton hotel on Saturday, October 30.

Today, in the 14th year of Scotland's People's Oscars, past winners and supporters lined up to add their support to Great Scot 2004 and tell us what the awards meant to them.

Previous winners include mountaineer Jamie Andrew, from Edinburgh, who became the first quadruple amputee to run the London Marathon.

Then there was Vanessa Orr, also of Edinburgh, who fostered more than 100 children over a 15-year period. Stars at past awards include Ewan McGregor, whose mum Carol won a Charity Award, actor John Michie, Sir Jackie Stewart, TV presenter Jenni Falconer and Big Brother winner Cameron Stout.

A Great Scot award is your chance to say 'thank you' in spectacular style. So, go on tell us about the special people who deserve a chance to shine.

Susan Rice, Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB Scotland, said: 'The Great Scots are a wonderful opportunity to cheer the heroes amongst us.'

Sunday Mail editor Allan Rennie said: 'Our judges will also select the best in sport, business, showbusiness and charity.

Ann Gloag, Charity Award winner 2002

IT was a tremendous honour when Lord Ian McColl and I were presented with a Great Scot award for our work on behalf of Mercy Ships.

We were surrounded by many Scots whose achievements humbled us, so to be given such an honour by the readers of the Sunday Mail was very moving.

More importantly, ordinary Scots were recognised for the extraordinary things they do and that is so important for Scotland and the future of charities in this country.

Jamie Andrew, Great Scot 2002

TWO years ago, I felt I was the luckiest person on earth when I was voted Great Scot. The Great Scots awards ceremony is such a special event as every single person who is nominated is a winner.

Whether they make it to the shortlist or not, every nominee can feel proud that they have achieved something incredible and gone out of their way to help someone else. It doesn't matter who they are this is Scotland's chance to say 'thank you' to the ordinary people who have made a difference to the lives of others.

Frank McAvennie, Great Scot supporter

LAST year was my first experience of the awards. Richard Gough and I were asked to present the Sport Award to Hugh Dallas. We were two former Old Firm players raising a glass to a referee. Now there's a sight you don't see every day!

But, seriously, my wife Karen and I were absolutely bowled over by the courage of all the unsung heroes they were the stars of the night and rightly so.

Andrea McLean, Great Scot supporter

THREE years ago I was invited to present the Charity Award at the Great Scots, alongside my GMTV colleague Jenni Falconer.

It went to Alison Closs for her work with children in Bosnia on behalf of Edinburgh Direct Aid.

Listening to stories about people like Karen Millar and her two children with spina bifida and Hugh Burns, who suffers from cerebral palsy, really made me count my blessings. Their courage, strength and tenacity made them heroes in my eyes and I'm so glad they were recognised.

Sarah Heaney, Great Scot supporter

I'VE attended the Great Scots for the last three years and wouldn't miss it for the world. It's usually celebrities who grab all the glory in award ceremonies but not at the People's Oscars.

I remember the likes of David Stirrat a leukaemia sufferer who kept a diary of his successful treatment which is now used in hospitals to help those fighting the disease and young Rebecca Anderson, who looked after her near-blind mum. It's a privilege to honour Scotland's unsung heroes.

Darius, Music Award winner 2002

I'VE been lucky enough to attend the Great Scots awards a couple of times now and even got to win the music prize in 2002.

But for me the real privilege has been listening to the bravery and determination of so many of our unsung heroes.

People like disabled climber Jamie Andrew remind us all of the great power of the Scottish spirit. It is the same with the stories of disabled swimmer Mhairi Love, and Eileen Campbell, who works tirelessly for the homeless.

Charan Gill, Business Award Winner 2001

IT is up to us to celebrate the best Scotland has to offer to shout it from the rooftops and recognise all that is great about this country.

But most of all, we need to recognise the potential in every one of us. I left school at 15 to work at Yarrow shipbuilders in Glasgow. But knew I would work for myself one day.

The Great Scots are all about that 'can do' attitude. It is an event which highlights tremendous achievement by people from all walks of life. And it is proof there is no limit to what you can do.

Vanessa Orr, Great Scot 2000

WINNING the award did two things for me. On a personal level, it gave me a sense of recognition and achievement for the work I've put in fostering 113 children.

The award symbolises all the special kids and the enjoyment they've given me in caring for them.

On a professional level, the award and the media attention encouraged a lot of people to contact social services and enquire about fostering. The awards also give a chance for ordinary people to show the extraordinary lives they lead.

Lorraine Kelly, Great Scot supporter and Television Personality Award winner 2000

THIS is a golden opportunity for all of us to nominate those people who work so hard all year round and who never really get the recognition they deserve.

I know they are the kind of people who don't look for awards but they are the backbone of our society. They deserve a treat and the chance for all of us to tell them how special they really are.

I am sure there is someone you know who goes that extra mile and who is always cheerful and willing to help others with no thought for themselves. This is your chance to pay them back.

Scott Muir, Great Scot 2003

MY experience of the night was amazing. I couldn't believe I had won because as far as I'm concerned, my mum and dad and two deaf brothers are the heroes. Meeting the other nominees and unsung heroes gobsmacked me.

It made me see that many people live difficult lives and just get on with it. They should be getting a pat on the back for the hope they give to others. That's why the Great Scots awards should be supported by everyone.

If anyone knows someone they think is great, they should nominate them. That someone's story could change another person's life. On the night of the awards ceremony, I handed over a £3000 cheque from the Sunday Mail to the West of Scotland Deaf Children's Society. My dream is to see sign language taught in all schools in the way French or German is taught.

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Lifetime Achievement 2003

THE Sunday Mail Great Scots event, which I attended last year, is a fantastic collection of Scottish achievers in all avenues and walks of life.

It was a highly enjoyable and proud evening for me and for the many others who have contributed so much to Scotland. It is an evening of great national pride.

Tom Hunter, Business Award winner 2003

ALL of Scotland should get behind these awards because quite honestly they are simply the best.

These awards are not about the rich and the famous. They are very much about Scotland's unsung heroes the true spirit of Scotland's success. If you could bottle the talent, courage and commitment of the winners of these awards, the Great Scots dram would be a world-class winner. We could beat any nation hands down.

So come on Scotland get up and get active and back the Great Scots awards.

© 2004 Glasgow Sunday Mail