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Action for Children in Stornoway has one of Scotland’s superstars among their staff – as officially recognised in national awards.

Sarah Macleod, registered manager at Hillcrest Children’s Home, was named an Action for Children superstar for her ability in finding solutions at the charity’s Scottish awards ceremony in Glasgow last week (Friday 11 November).

In fact Sarah, who stays in Point, was one of three Stornoway staff to be nominated for an award, with colleagues Cat Garner, a business support worker in Stornoway and Linda Cameron, a children’s services practitioner in Balivanich put forward respectively for their behind-the-scenes work and for providing inspiration to others.

The three attended an awards ceremony at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel last Friday, where they were among 120 guests to catch the first glimpse of the new John Lewis Christmas advert (, which has been produced in partnership with Action for Children nationally.

For that moment there was hardly a dry eye in the house, and the glitz and excitement of the whole event was part of the reward for three Western Isles staff who have excelled in their service throughout the year.

Western Isles service manager Valerie Russell said: “The awards are a really good way of recognising staff who work hard all year, with 15 award categories where we can put our staff forward.

“Being shortlisted for an award, out of all the nominees in Scotland, was for these three staff a recognition of how well our local team do.

“Our staff are all great and if we didn’t have good staff we wouldn’t be offering a good service. The whole team is excellent.”

But for 2022 Hillcrest manager Sarah is the star on top of the tree. Valerie said: “It’s recognition for Sarah of all the hard work she put in over Covid.

“The home was open throughout and Sarah was here all the time. She deserves the recognition for her reliability, for the child-centred approach she has and for her leadership skills through a difficult period. She’s a worthy winner.”

A spokesperson for Action for Children said: “The Finding Solutions award is for an individual who has demonstrated excellent delivery of service despite the challenges they have encountered along the way.

“They have identified and listened to the needs and concerns of services and responded in a flexible way to provide solutions.”