Grangemouth’s Sam wins 2014 Dennis Canavan Scholarship

Amanda Campbell accepts the award from Dennis Canavan on behalf of winner Sam Close. Also pictured are the other scholarship nominees and Provost Pat Reid (right). Picture: Michael Gillen
Amanda Campbell accepts the award from Dennis Canavan on behalf of winner Sam Close. Also pictured are the other scholarship nominees and Provost Pat Reid (right). Picture: Michael Gillen
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A “brave and tenacious” student with a record of helping others is the winner of the 2014 Dennis Canavan Scholarship.

Sam Close will receive £500 to help pay for his future studies after being declared the unanimous choice of the judges’ panel.

The 17-year-old, from Grangemouth, was unable to attend the annual prize-giving ceremony at Callendar House last week due to a family illness.

He was nominated for the award by Grangemouth High teacher Amanda Campbell. She accepted the award on his behalf.

“Sam lives alone with his mum but has extended family living nearby; Sam is his mum’s carer on a day-to-day basis,” she said.

“Although his mum goes through periods of significant ill health, Sam has managed to progress academically as well as fundraising to earn his place with Buskit to travel to Belarus. His commitment to making a difference to the lives of others is highly commendable.”

Mr Canavan said: “Sam has demonstrated a high degree of tenacity and courage in the face of adversity together with a willingness to go that extra mile to help people.

“He has also put a huge amount of effort into a humanitarian charity, Burkit, helping children affected by the nuclear power disaster in Chernobyl which happened in 1986 but is still affecting many children in that part of the world.”

Sean McGeachy and Lewis Findlay were runners-up and each received £250. A total of 10 nominees received £50.

Holyrood. He is now the chairman of the Yes campaign in favour of Scottish independence.

Falkirk Council launched the Dennis Canavan Scholarship award in 2008 to recognise an “individual who demonstrated a commitment to voluntary work, charity sponsorship, sports coaching or had made a contribution to international development.”