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Carers Trust Scotland employee scoops Scottish Charity Award!

Nicola Bell, Youth Engagement Officer at Carers Trust in Scotland, has won the prestigious Employee of the Year award at the Scottish Charity Awards.

Nicola Bell holding her award

Scottish Charity Awards celebrates the best of Scotland’s voluntary sector. The awards are run by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO). The annual awards ceremony dedicated to recognising Scotland’s voluntary sector was streamed live (Employee of the Year Award starts at 34:15) on Friday 1 October in a glittering online event hosted by Sally Magnusson from the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The winner of each of the nine categories was decided by a judging panel. And the tenth People’s Choice category winner was decided by the public with over 12,000 votes cast.

This year’s event was particularly special as it was the first time the awards fully recognised the sector’s response to the pandemic.

Carers Trust Scotland’s Youth Engagement Officer, Nicola Bell, was nominated for the award for her work with young carers and young adult carers. Nicola was instrumental in supporting young people to set up #Supermarkets4Change. This was a campaign to raise supermarkets’ awareness of unpaid carers, including young carers in the protected hours set aside for vulnerable people to shop during lockdown.

Additionally, the innovative resources that Nicola developed for professional and young carers on the topic of supporting young carers through a whole family approach have been so well received they are being translated into other languages by European carers organisations to use in their own countries.

In receiving her award, Nicola Bell said:
“I am so honoured to have won Employee of the Year! I would not be here without the support of the amazing Carers Trust Scotland team.

To all the incredible young carers, young adult carers and young carer services in Scotland – thank you!

I feel very proud to work with such inspiring colleagues, services and young people each day. I hope that in winning this award, there is greater awareness of who young carers are and their experiences of unpaid caring.”

Louise Morgan, Director for Scotland, Carers Trust said:
“We were so excited to see our Youth Engagement Officer, Nicola Bell, win the Employee of the Year Award at the Scottish Charity Awards this year.

Nicola joined the team the day before lockdown began in Scotland, and having only met her colleagues face to face in August 2021 makes her achievement all the more commendable.

Nicola is an extremely hard worker and engaged wholeheartedly with young carers and young adult carers throughout what has been a really challenging time for everyone. Carers’ voices are at the heart of everything that we do at Carers Trust so it was really important that we kept these voices to the fore.

The Supermarkets4change campaign was just one example of what Nicola achieved, allowing young carers to access supermarkets during the protected hours for other vulnerable people.

Being the real team player that she is, Nicola acknowledges the support from other members of our policy team in Scotland which has contributed to her successes over the past 18 months. She is an exceptional person and it’s great to have her working with us at Carers Trust.”

This has been a very successful year for Nicola who in March won the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Ros Clark Support Worker of the Year Award, which she was nominated for directly by the young people she works with. Nicola’s commitment to raising awareness, improving support and creating meaningful engagement opportunities for young carers and young adult carers to have their views heard is unquestionable.

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