Ilma Ali and Louise Allan have been named as winners in East Lothian Council’s ‘If I Were Provost’ competition, as part of the Year of Young People.

The two winners, along with 16 shortlisted entrants, were announced at a prize giving ceremony in Haddington on Friday.

The council’s ‘If I Were Provost’ competition asked young people what they would do if they were ‘in charge’, how they would improve life for young people in the region, and what new policies they might introduce and why. Young people were invited to share their ideas in a creative way - for example, in a short story, letter, poem or graphic comic strip, and more than 200 entries across two age categories (8 – 13, and 14 – 18) were received.

Entries were judged anonymously by a judging panel comprising Callum Mark, General Manager at award winning Foxlake Adventures; triple Paralympic medallist Maria Lyle; and Celia Hodson, founder of social enterprise Hey Girls, along with Provost John McMillan and Councillor Shamin Akhtar, spokesperson for Education and Children’s Services.

Provost John McMillan said: “We were hugely impressed with the quality and range of entries that we received, which ranged from drawings to poems, comic strips to letters. It was clear that everyone had really taken the challenge to heart, and had put a lot of thought and care into their entries.

“The judging panel really enjoyed the judging process, even though the task of choosing our winners was a difficult one. I want to thank each and every entrant for taking part and sharing with us your ideas – it’s clear that we can all play our part in improving life in East Lothian.”

Ilma and Louise were presented with a certificate and prizes from East Lothian attractions Foxlake Adventures, Scottish Seabird Centre, EnjoyLeisure and Musselburgh Racecourse. Young Ambassadors and Highly Commended entrants also received certificates and prizes.

Provost John McMillan explains: “Ilma’s entry, which included simple messages such as ‘Be kind to each other’, and ‘pick up litter because we need to save the environment’ really summed up what we can all do to make East Lothian – and life - better for everyone, not just for young people.

“Louise’s entry, which focused on education and teaching young people, used a really creative approach and asked us to think ‘outside the box’ – that we need to remember that everyone is unique and that we can all learn from each other.”

The two young winners will be invited to join Provost McMillan at selected events throughout the year to act as a young ambassador for the county.

The winning entries, along with entries shortlisted as ‘Young Ambassadors’, will be on display to the public at East Lothian libraries over July and August.

"I want to thank each and every entrant for taking part and sharing with us your ideas – it’s clear that we can all play our part in improving life in East Lothian" Provost John McMillan

If I Were Provost – winners

Category A (ages 8 – 13): 

  • Winner - Ilma Ali
  • Young Ambassadors - Luke Cowan; Zoe Doig; Carys McKnight; Fizaa Muhammad
  • Highly Commended - Jane Costello; Rebecca Currie; Corey Gorman; Leo Harrison; Sarah Livingston; Austin Walker; Lilianna Way

Category B (ages 14 – 18):

  • Winner – Louise Allan
  • Young Ambassadors - Ryan Govan; Zola Lorimer
  • Highly Commended - Jack Robertson; Katelyn Scott
Published: Tuesday, 26th June 2018