by admin    

Search for young hero gets underway

Fred Macaulay (left) with Annie Dow

Fred Macaulay (left) with Annie Dow

The search for the first ever winner of the newly established TADHA award, which celebrate acts of heroism by young people with additional support needs, kicks off this week (Thursday 9th October) at an unique launch event hosted by Fred MacAulay.

The Annie Dow Heroism Award (TADHA) takes its inspiration from Annie Dow, a young woman who has additional support needs, who saved the lives of her mother, father, family friend and dog Hamish when she bravely raised the alarm after discovering a fire in the middle of the night which destroyed her home.

Made possible by an anonymous donor who gifted £20,000 to recognise Annie’s heroism and that of other young people with additional support needs in Scotland, the TADHA awards will be judged by a prestigious panel made up of: Rose Fitzpatrick, Deputy Chief Constable, Police Scotland, Lieutenant Colonel Rob Heatly, MBE Royal Marines, Anne Houston, Former Chief Executive of Children First, Peter Murray, Assistant Chief Officer, Scotland Fire and Rescue Services, Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive Young Scot and Aaron McHale, Young Campaigner and Haggeye Member.

Rose Fitzpatrick, Deputy Chief Constable, Police Scotland, said:

“It is so important that we recognise that everyone has a role to play in keeping people safe, and TADHA will ensure that we recognise and celebrate the heroism of young men and women with support needs who have done just that.”

Lieutenant Colonel Rob Heatly MBE, Royal Marines, said:

“A hero can be audacious, brave or courageous. However, most often recognition comes with a proven ability to think clearly and do the right thing in pressurised or emergency situations. When a young person has the added pressure of additional support needs, then such conduct is even more remarkable. I feel privileged to be involved with providing appropriate recognition through TAHDA.“

Event Founder and Mother of Annie, Sophie Dow, said:

“Setting up TADHA is one of the most important and joyful things I have done throughout my career. TADHA will highlight the abilities, rather than the inabilities, that anyone with additional support needs have.

The launch event will be held at Summerhall where speakers Fred MacAulay, Sophie and Annie Dow will provide a background to the award and Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick, Police Scotland, will outline what the judges will be looking for from TAHDA nominations. Applications can then be submitted until 31st December 2014.

A prize of £2,500 will be awarded to the TADHA winning hero.
The two runners up will receive a cheque for £500 each.

The judging panel will meet on 21st January to select the first TADHA hero and these will be announced at a glitzy award ceremony in February 2015.