Outstanding Member of the Year revealed

This year's inaugural wnner of the Margaret Whiteford Trophy for Outstanding Member of the Year was announced at Women In Scotland – SWI National Conference & Exhibition. The award celebrates the members who go above and beyond for their SWI communities. Members who are great ambassadors for everything we hold dear – friendship, lifelong learning, and sharing skills – and who get the most out of volunteering for the charity.

The award is named after Margaret Whiteford. Margaret was a well-kent face as she worked at the SWI central office for around 15 years. She was passionate about the SWI and became a member of Ratho SWI, enjoying summer schools and study tours and becoming Midlothian Federation Secretary, too.

SWI Board Trustee Susie Finlayson first met Margaret in 2018 as Susie was preparing to be an Evelyn Baxter Scholar and recalls that Margaret was so encouraging and supportive to her, gladly passing on her years of experience with good humour and a twinkle in her eye. She also gifted Susie some material which is now a cover for the large-scale projects Susie takes to classes and talks, so a wee bit of Margaret goes with her when she’s touring Scotland.

Margaret was a keen conference-goer, too – you may have enjoyed some birthday cake and drinks with her at our last conference in Aberdeen. She will be here in spirit!

To honour Margaret’s love of the SWI her brothers, nieces, and nephews have gifted the Margaret Whiteford trophy to ensure that she is not forgotten.

Ten members from across Scotland were nominated for the brand-new award, all very worthy of the title Outstanding Member of the Year, and we know they all represent so many more of you volunteering your time, skills, and enthusiasm in SWI communities across Scotland.

The National Conference committee had the tricky task of choosing three of these incredible ladies for the shortlist.

Ruth Williams of Orkney Federation was nominated because she has dedicated almost 30 years of her life to being Federation Treasurer for Orkney Federation – only standing down this year just before her 82nd birthday!

Maz Thorn, of Perth & Kinross Federation, is one of SWI’s Digital Champions and was nominated by fellow members for her dedication to getting women across Scotland online, and her skill in teaching them the mysteries of Zoom.

Lynn Davidson, of Moray & Nairn Federation, was nominated for her can-do attitude, organisational skills and for being a passionate ambassador of the SWI.

Hear from the nominees themselves here