Bonnybridge student wins Dennis Canavan scholarship

Former Falkirk West MSP Dennis Canavan  presents Carrie with her award as Provost Pat Reid looks on
Former Falkirk West MSP Dennis Canavan presents Carrie with her award as Provost Pat Reid looks on
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A teenager who has spent her life helping others has been awarded this year’s Dennis Cannavan Scholarship.

Carrie Wilson assisted her parents Iain and Anita to care for six foster children and has also played an active role in her local Girl’s Brigade company.

The 18-year-old from Bonnybridge will use the £500 award to help her study for her degree at the University of Stirling, where last week she began a course in adult nursing.

Carrie was nominated by Marian Reid, a senior mathematics teacher at Denny High School.

She was the unanimous choice of the scholarship judging panel, which is chaired by Provost Pat Reid.

Falkirk Council launched the Dennis Canavan Scholarship in 2008 to help deserving youngsters meet higher education costs.

Mr Canavan (71) served the Falkirk West constituency both at Westminster and at Holyrood for 33 years before stepping down from frontline politics in 2007.

He said: “Any of the 12 nominees would have been a worthy winner of the scholarship award but there was something very special about Carrie’s nomination.

“From an early age, Carrie has been involved in supporting the other children who have been fostered by her family.

“Some years ago, the family adopted a wee boy with special needs. Carrie cared for her adopted brother, who tragically died when Carrie was in her first year at Denny High School. That must have been a devastating experience for Carrie and her family but they kept on fostering, and Carrie continued to support other carers through her membership of Young Carers.

“She has also been active in helping others through her membership of Denny Old Parish Church, her membership of the Girls’ Brigade, her membership of the Pupil Council, her support for the Scottish Youth Parliament and has also used her musical and acting talents to entertain other people.

“I think she is a very deserving winner and I wish her every success in her studies and in her future career.”

Carrie told The Falkirk Herald it was a “great shock” when she discovered she had won the award.

“I’m thrilled to win,” she said. “The award will be a big help with my degree. I always knew I wanted to help people in my career, and after 
researching possible courses I decided adult nursing would be the best one for me.”

Carrie was presented with her award at Callendar House by Mr Canavan and Provost Reid. She was joined there by scholarship runner-up Jack Wiggins.