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Queen Margaret University student scoops top award

Posted: 11th July 2017

The Herald Higher Education Awards 2017. Radisson Blu hotel, Glasgow. Winner of Outstanding contribution from a student is Iain Scott of Queen Margaret University. Presenting the award is Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland president, left and event host Jennifer Reoch at right. Photograph by Colin Mearns 6 July 2017A student from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, has won a top award for ‘Outstanding Contribution’ at the Herald Higher Education Awards 2017, which took place in Glasgow on Thursday 6th July.

The Herald Higher Education Awards celebrate the extraordinary things that are going on in Scotland’s universities and colleges. The Awards recognise the high standard of education that is offered throughout Scotland and the innovative ways in which institutions market themselves and engage with their audiences.

Iain Scott, 31, who is a father of four from Prestonpans and attended Lasswade High School, is currently studying BSc (Hons) Dietetics at QMU.

Iain was recognised by the judges for his outstanding voluntary contribution to QMU and the wider community, including his work off campus with local schools and young people. Judges also singled Iain out for his ability to inspire and motivate others.

A positive force within the community, Iain has supported his Community Council, chaired the Parent Council, and run campaigns to highlight the lack of nursery place provision. He is dedicated to his volunteering work with DadsWork, an East Lothian community project that works with fathers and male care givers, and is a committee member of ‘Support from the Start’, which improves the lives of children from birth to eight years.

Iain’s NHS work highlights a need for family support in relation to food planning and cooking. Iain secured funding for a pilot project of his own initiative: ‘Cooking for Life’. Supported by the Community Dietetics team, he ran four eight week courses for families from the most deprived areas, enhancing their cooking, meal planning and budgeting skills. This year, he is working with the Prestonpans Infant School and Support for the Start to offer a summer lunch club at the local primary school, ensuring children in the most deprived areas access healthy, nutritious meals throughout the summer holidays.

Iain also inspires children to adopt healthy lifestyles by delivering the workshop, ‘You are what you eat’, as part of the Queen Margaret Children’s University. He was also guest speaker at the recent Queen Margaret Children’s University graduation ceremony where he promoted the value of lifelong learning.

Commenting on his award success, Iain said: “Being nominated and winning this award is an amazing feeling and enhances the wonderful opportunities I’ve been privileged to experience. I’ve come a long way in the last seven years from being a single father of three young children with university being a distant twinkle in my aspirations, to my settled family home life with my wife and four children. Being able to enjoy the student experiences within Queen Margaret University, working with wonderful people both within the university and the wider community which allows me the chance to give back the support and care to those in need as I received in my time of need.

“I’m truly grateful for the acknowledgment of my ongoing efforts to enhance and support the lives of those around me and I’ll continue to strive to inspire my children, work to the best of my ability to support others both in university and in my community and the completion of my degree in dietetics.

Callum Maguire, Head of Outreach and Community Engagement at QMU, added: “Iain is an outstanding student ambassador for the University. As a dedicated father of four young children, and an NHS shift worker, he is a shining example to all students of what can be achieved during the university journey when applying excellent time management, commitment, vision and a ‘can do’ selfless attitude.

“Iain epitomises QMU’s values by actively creating effective solutions to social inclusion issues, thereby promoting diversity and equality of opportunity. His dedication to the application of academic knowledge in food, nutrition and dietetics results in significant improvements in the lives of marginalised groups, which ultimately impacts positively on society.”

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