Local campaigner gets KSI recognition at London awards ceremony


Susan Murray put herself forward for an award after receiving backing from Jo Swinson


The Sheila McKechnie Awards, which recognise the efforts of campaigners to bring about changes in society, were held on Monday evening in London. Muriel Gray was compare for the evening, and the audiences listened to speeches by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and Liberty Director Shami Chakrabarti.

Susan Murray of Kirkintilloch was a finalist at the awards ceremony. Susan has campaigned on behalf of Kirkintilloch Skatepark Initiative (KSI) for the past three years to raise the funds needed to construct a skatepark facility in Kirkintilloch.

Jo Swinson MP attended the ceremony in support of Susan, and after the event Jo commented:

“My congratulations go to Susan Murray for her Sheila McKechnie award nomination. She can be very proud of the recognition she has achieved for her work with Kirkintilloch Skatepark Initiative. I am sure the attention generated by this event will provide a much-deserved boost to KSI’s efforts.”

Susan Murray recalls her journey to the Sheila McKechnie Award finals:

“I met our local MP Jo Swinson through Kirkintilloch Skatepark Initiative, and she encouraged me to apply for an award from the Sheila McKechnie Foundation, which has been set up to support campaigners and make them more effective. As this could be a real benefit to KSI, I went ahead and applied and was lucky enough to be selected as one of the finalists and invited to attend the awards ceremony in London.

“It was a wonderful experience. In the company of many inspiring people including Muriel Gray, Gordon Brown, Lord Puttnam and Terry Waite, there was the KSI project along side many other well known campaigns. It was great to see that all the hard work of the young people in KSI and the support we have received from our local community was being recognised.

“KSI is now in the fortunate position of having the support of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. They recognise that this project is of tremendous benefit to the young people of Kirkintilloch and the surrounding area. The skatepark will provide a safe place where they can skateboard, use inline skates and BMX bikes. This will help to keep them fit and healthy and give them a challenging environment where they can each have their own personal successes. It will also give them a place to gather without causing alarm to other members of the community. Most importantly, it will show them clearly that a group of young people, with the support of their community, can work in partnership with its Council to make a dream come true and develop an underused park – with a bit of hard work and determination.”

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