Prime Minister awards outstanding Scottish Gypsy Traveller Assembly founder

2 March 2020
Charlotte donaldson

On the 27th February the prime minister, recognised Charlotte Donaldson, aged 18, from Aberdeenshire, for her exceptional service supporting the founding of the Scottish Gypsy Traveller Assembly.

Charlotte is an #iwill ambassador who was a founding member of the Assembly in 2018 and has led efforts to further recognise the rights and cultural heritage of the approximately 4,000 strong Gypsy/Traveller community in the country.

Charlotte has been active in speaking for the Gypsy/Traveller community from a small age and advocating for greater equality and representation of the community, particularly among young people, and is working to expand the Gypsy Traveller Youth Forum for Scotland to ensure the voices of young Gypsy Travellers from each of the 32 districts in Scotland can be fully heard.

Charlotte is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

In a personal letter to Charlotte, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

"I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of your brilliant and passionate work promoting the voices of young people in the Scottish Gypsy/Traveller community, fighting for equality and celebrating your rich cultural heritage."

Dr Rania Marandos, CEO of ‘Step Up To Serve’, which coordinates the #iwill campaign, said:

“At the #iwill campaign we know that young people have the energy, ideas and drive to create positive change in their communities and to tackle many of society’s tougher challenges. We are so pleased to see the Prime Minister recognising the courageous and powerful work that Charlotte has undertaken in advocating for the rights of Gypsies/Travellers. We hope that this inspires organisations across sectors to understand the value of working in partnership with young people of all backgrounds, and to empower more young people to tackle intolerance and inequality in our society."

Charlotte said:

"I'm delighted to be receiving this award from the Prime Minister for my work in defending the rights of Gypsies/Travellers. There is still a long way to go before Gypsies/Travellers have equal rights in this country and I am determined to play a role in tackling stigma and getting more support and protections for my community. I hope that my story will inspire politicians to reflect on the challenges we still face as a community and have a positive dialogue with us."

Charlotte is the 1337th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. The Prime Minister makes daily announcements of the winners to celebrate, encourage and promote volunteering and the value that it brings to the country. If you know someone who could be a Point of Light they should write to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.