Academy pupil shortlisted for youth award

Rothesay Academy pupil Thomas Howat has reached the final of the 2015 AB Awards, celebrating youth achievement.

Fifteen-year-old Thomas was nominated by the island school’s youth worker Ailsa Cassidy for his voluntary work both in, and outside of, Rothesay Academy.

Rothesay Academy pupil Thomas Howat has been nominated for a youth award for his volunteering efforts in the community.

Rothesay Academy pupil Thomas Howat has been nominated for a youth award for his volunteering efforts in the community.

The AB Awards - a celebration of the contribution young people make to the communities they live in - are the result of a partnership between Argyll and Bute Youth Services and Argyll and Bute Youth Forum. The Awards are an opportunity to highlight the good work that many of the area’s young people carry out on a daily basis.

Thomas’ volunteering activities include serving as Bute Island Radio’s sports presenter, assisting at Tee in the Port for the past two years and at this year’s inaugural ButeFest, and with island charity Achievement Bute, in addition to volunteer work within Rothesay Academy, whether backstage at school schows or with the XL group.

Asked how he felt when he learned he’d been shortlisted with two others for the final stage of the competition, Thomas told us: “It was amazing, I was absolutely buzzing. When Ailsa and Miss Fisher [Rothesay Joint Campus head teacher] asked to speak to me I thought I was getting into trouble, but then they told me about the award. It’s really amazing.”

Speaking of Thomas’ accomplishment, Ailsa told us: “I know how much Thomas does in the school. He’s always the first to volunteer to help with anything - sometimes he’ll volunteer before he even knows what the job is!

“Outside of school, Thomas has done a lot, especially with the radio station. Mike Blair [presenter on Bute Island Radio] played a huge part of bringing Thomas on as far as he has, and I’d really like to thank Mike as it was his supporting evidence which I think tipped the balance in Thomas being shortlisted.

“He really deserves this recognition for all his hard work.”

* The awards ceremony takes place on September 24 at Oban Phoenix Cinema.