An inspirational Bellsmyre schoolgirl has been chosen by local MSP, Jackie Baillie, to become the Dumbarton constituency’s Local Hero at the official opening of the Scottish Parliament this Saturday, 2nd June.
Eleven year-old Islelagh Shaw was chosen because of her commitment to charity fundraising and campaigning to increase awareness of kidney disease. Islelagh, who starts high school after the summer holidays, suffers from chronic kidney disease and has raised hundreds of pounds for Kidney Kids Scotland and given talks about her condition to classmates at Aitkenbar Primary.
Islelagh and her mum, Elaine, will join Jackie Baillie on Saturday in a ‘Riding’ procession down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, along with around 2,000 other participants in a colourful, historic tradition.
Jackie Baillie says: ‘Islelagh is an inspiration to everyone who meets her and she is truly deserving of the Local Hero title at the official opening of the Scottish Parliament. I received a number of very strong nominations for local people who go the extra mile in our communities but I could only choose one person to walk down the Royal Mile. Islelagh’s strength of character and passion for helping others through her charity fundraising is incredible for a girl of her age and I am absolutely delighted that she will represent this area as our Local Hero.’
The Dumbarton MSP also selected Michelle McDonald, a youth worker from Helensburgh, as the runner-up in recognition of her work to help young people and families in Lomond North. Michelle is Youth Work Manager at Route 81 in Garelochhead and she was nominated by a local parent who was impressed by her enthusiasm and dedication to running services for young people.
Michelle McDonald will join Jackie as her guest in the Chamber while Her Majesty The Queen officially opens the fifth session of the Scottish Parliament with an address to MSPs.
Jackie says: ‘I have known Michelle for a number of years now and I have always been aware of the extraordinary amount of work she puts in to providing and improving services for young people in Garelochhead and the surrounding areas. She is always cheerful and upbeat no matter what challenges lie ahead and her work at Route 81 has helped many local young people reach their full potential.’