Meet the #YSAwards 2020 Finalists

We are thrilled to reveal the extraordinary young finalists in this year’s Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards 2020.

For the first time ever, the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards is taking place ONLINE. This means that everybody – no matter where they live – can join in on the event.

The Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards 2020 event taking place ONLINE on Thursday 13th August 2020 and is premiering at 7pm via our Facebook and YouTube channel.

Gemma Cairney, celebrity DJ and presenter, is hosting this year’s event plus there'll be entertainment from a few special guests! 

Have a look at our amazing finalists below. 

Unsung Hero

Cody Mcmanus, 11, Edinburgh.

Cody boxed eight young people back to back and in return asked for toy donations for children living in poverty. He filled an entire boxing ring with £12,000 worth of donated toys, which were gifted to 550 local children in time for Christmas.

Molly Cuddihy, 17, and Sara Millar, 16, Glasgow

The two cancer patients organised a ball and raised £250,000 for a room specifically for sick kids who are “too old” for the ward playroom but “too young” for the Teen Space.

Nicole Gray, 25, Musselburgh

Upset by the number of people around her struggling with life, Nicole set up Send A Smile Care Packages. She prepares and sends care packages, free of charge, to those in need.

Young Hero

Isla, 16, and Eilidh Noble, 15, Fraserburgh 

Sisters Isla and Eilidh used a lilo to save a man and a young child from drowning in the North Sea.

Juliana Sweeney-Baird, 17, Bearsden

Juliana is losing her sight but she continues to skate. She is ranked first in the world rankings for inclusive skating and is a current British junior champion.

Maher, 16, and Abdul Sawan, 17, Cumbernauld

Brothers Maher and Abdul arrived in Scotland three years ago as refugees from Syria. Despite the language barrier, the boys have become an invaluable part of their community, playing for their local football team and volunteering as barbers.

Enhancing Education

Layla Cooke, 14, Fife

Layla, who has a hearing impairment, has been working tirelessly to promote the use of British Sign Language in schools and encouraging other young people to speak up about their difficulties.

Mashaim Bukhari, 17, Glasgow

The head girl at St Andrew’s RC Secondary School, noticed that many of her fellow students came from busy households, so she arranged for the school hall to be transformed into a study hall after school.

Turing’s Testers 2.0, Toni MacKenzie, 16, and Clara O’Callaghan, 16, Blackburn

When they are not studying for their Highers, Toni and Clara have been busy creating online competitions to raise awareness of Computing Science in a bid to inspire young girls.


Aidan McGrogan, 16, Paisley

Aidan is the Secretary of Own Yer Bike which recycles abandoned bikes by teaching young people in Ferguslie Park how to repair and maintain them.

Dylan Hamilton, 16, Linlithgow, Holly Gillibrand, 15, Fort William, Kay Maciverand Esther Silverton, both 15, Edinburgh

This group of young people established the Scottish Youth Climate Strike and were key organisers of the September 2019 strike – which was attended by more than 20,000 people.

Xander Johnston, 13, Aviemore

 ‘AntBoy’ has logged more than 800 hours surveying for rare and endangered insects in and around the Cairngorms National Park and creating videos for his YouTube channel.


Ellie Fergusson, 15, Livingston

Since winning the BBC’s The Greatest Dancer, Ellie has been concentrating on getting a place in one of the UK’s top dance colleges. She also helps train the younger members of her dance academy.

Jordy Deelight, 24, Edinburgh

Jordy Deelight, is a drag artist and DJ who refuses to let cystic fibrosis stifle his creativity. Jordy has created stage shows that give an emotional insight into how life is when you have Cystic Fibrosis.

Modo-Circus with Purpose, ages 12-25, Peterhead

Each year, Modo work with young people to create physical theatre and circus shows based around issues or topics they want to explore.


Hope Gordon, 24, Rogart, Sutherland

Hope, who crowdfunded £10,000 to have her leg amputated, has become a top para-canoeist.

Billy Gilmour, 18, Ardrossan

Billy “the wonderkid” is only 18 but is already drawing comparisons to Manchester United legend Roy Keane with his sparky performances as a midfielder for Chelsea.

Duncan Scott, 22, Glasgow

Duncan returned a double silver medallist from his first Olympic Games in Rio and has captured gold at three successive World Championships. He is the most decorated Scot at a single Commonwealth Games after winning six medals at Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.


Hannah Weir, 13, Rothes, Moray

When she was 10, Hannah donated £120 to help her mum set up the Moray School Bank – which provides school uniforms and winter clothing to young people across the region.

Archie Strang, 11, East Lothian

For the last three years, the schoolboy has been going door to door in his hometown of Tranent collecting donations for his local food bank in the run-up to Christmas.

Greenfaulds High School Generations, ages 14-18, Cumbernauld

This group of S3-S6 pupils have been brightening the lives of residents in their local care home with their weekly visits.


Kristen Scott, 15, Paisley

Kristen is one of the biggest TikTok social media stars in Scotland. She’s gone from 60,000 to 705,000 followers in less than a year, with 26.8million likes.

Ncuti Gatwa, 26, Dunfermline

The actor, who fled the genocide in Rwanda with his family in 1994, has become a global star thanks to his role in Netflix’s Sex Education.

Libby Dye, 12, Forfar

Despite ongoing health conditions, Libby has been playing the role of feisty Katie Roth in River City for four years.

Luke La Volpe, 23, Bathgate

The singer-songwriter, who supported BRIT Award winner Tom Walker at The Caves in Edinburgh, is being tipped as the breakthrough star of 2020.

Excellence in Education

Alexander Johnstone, 17, Dundee

Alexander has no control over his arms and legs. Thanks to his positive mental attitude, he doesn’t let anything get in the way of his education and last year he achieved three National 5 awards.

Cameron Wilson, 17, Stenhousemuir

Just before his 11th birthday, Cameron was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Over a five-year period he battled with the disease. In S5, Cameron passed five Highers all at Grade A.

Darcey Whalen, 16, Edinburgh

At the end of last year, while having to juggle her studies, Darcey had an operation to try to correct her heart condition, which sadly was unsuccessful. Instead of letting this get her down, she put all her energy into studying.


Ben McCabe, 13, Cumbernauld

Ben, who was badly burnt by a firework when he was four, has been working with the Scottish Burned Children’s Club to raise awareness of the dangers associated with fireworks.

Paige Holland, 14, Kilmarnock

Paige sews drawstring bags for the toilets, which the school keep replenished with tampons and towels, and makes individual bags for S1 pupils to keep their products in.

Ryan McKillop, 24, Dunfermline

Ryan helped set up the Dunfermline branch of Andy’s Man Club, a group where men who have issues with mental health can talk about how they’re feeling.


Suhit Amin, 19, Giffnock, Glasgow

Suhit, a cancer survivor, runs his own social media talent agency and represents some of the world’s top internet influencers, including elite Fortnite pro-gamers thatdenverguy and Kados.

Rob Scott-Branton, 26, Livingston

Rob runs Kids Gone Wild, which delivers weekly outdoor learning programmes for more than 700 children who are struggling in the school environment.

Owen Foster, 18, Forfar

The teen tycoon has built a luxury jam business using his grandmother’s family recipe.

Equality & Diversity

Davie, 21, and Charlotte Donaldson, 18, Brechin

Brother and sister Davie and Charlotte have become Scotland’s top campaigners for Travellers’ rights, advising the Scottish Government on how to stamp out racism towards their community.

Intercultural Youth Scotland, 14 to 25, Edinburgh

The charity’s mission is to make a positive impact in the lives of intercultural young people – ensuring their full integration in society. To help achieve these aims, they run a host of programmes, including a youth club and heritage dance sessions.

Patrick McCready, 16, Kilmarnock

The teenager, who has Down’s Syndrome, helped set up a sensory room for Primary 2s and has designed an inclusive wheelchair fairground sensory garden, which is being built in the grounds.


John Munro, 18, Culbokie, Ross-shire

John has made an outstanding contribution to youth work on the Black Isle – clocking up more than 1,000 tracked hours of volunteering.

Roseanna Campbell, 20, Edinburgh

Roseanna, who was in care throughout her teens and became homeless at the age of 16, has become a champion volunteer as a way of giving something back to the organisation that helped her in her darkest hour.

Ryan and Lewis McGregor, 19, Cumnock

The twins have dedicated their lives to helping others by volunteering every day of the week coaching football and bringing joy to hundreds of children and disabled people across Ayrshire.

Head back to the Young Scot Awards page.