Smiles all round as award winners are announced

Lee O'Neil with daughter Christine
Lee O'Neil with daughter Christine

It was an extremely difficult and emotional task, but the organisers of the 2013 Smile Awards have now chosen the regional winners.

With over 100 nominations it was a tough job for organiser Kim Macleod and her ‘happiness team’.

The regional winners are : Highland and Islands - Sheila Sinclair; Aberdeen and Angus – Angela Cheyne; Angus and Dundee – Amanda Kopel; Argyll, Trossachs, Stirling and Forth Valley – Sharon Watson; Ayrshire and Arran – Anthea Clarke; Fife – Gail Neish; Edinburgh and Lothians – Mary MacFarlane; Glasgow and Clyde Valley – Lee O’Neil; Borders – Coreen Knight.

Lee O’Neil, from Bishopbriggs, was nominated by her daughter, Christine, for all her hard work in the Lennoxtown area, where she set up the Chatty Club, a lunch and social gathering for OAPs, which she runs almost single handed.

She is also involved in Fusion, a youth group for children with additional needs, a ukulele group and an adult choir.

Lee was very modest about her award win.

She said: “I was surprised to win. You do these things because you like doing them. I don’t feel entitled to anything. I’m a bit embarrassed, but everyone at the groups is excited and delighted I got the award.”

Organiser Kim Macleod said: “With no nominations received for Perthshire and Dumfries and Galloway, two other nominees were chosen for awards as they stood out because of the impact they have in their communities.

“Both are from Glasgow and Clyde Valley - Abed Ullah and Claire Bannerman.

“There were also five children’s nominations that touched our hearts and we have decided to award special Junior Smile Awards to them, proving that age is no barrier to the impact a smile and positive attitude can have.”

Johnston Press Scotland, publishers of the Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and Springburn Herald, were the media sponsors for the Smile Awards. Kim said: “I want to thank Johnston Press and our other sponsors for helping to make the 2013 Smile Awards a great success.”

The Smile Award winners will be invited as VIP guests to the Scotland’s Happiness Day conference in Glasgow on Saturday, November 2, where they will be presented with fabulous handmade glass Smile Awards.

Kim also wanted to thank Scotrail, who have donated train tickets for the winners to travel to the conference.

She said: “The Scotland’s Happiness Day conference is going to be a fabulous, happy day out filled with inspirational speakers, music and laughter.

“We will have some of Scotland’s best personal development speakers there, including David Hamilton, best selling Hay House author and Sandy Newbigging, award-winning author, trainer and TV show host. There will also be laughter and comedy with Joyworks and much loved Glasgow actress and comedian Libby McArthur. And there will be music from Edward Reid, star of Britain’s Got Talent, Scott Beaton and local talent KT and the Auld Busker.

“There will also be a range of wonderful products to buy too, including inspirational photos, books, handmade glass, candles and jewellery.”

Scotland’s Happiness Day conference opens at 9.30am on Saturday, November 2, in the Community Central Halls, 302 Maryhill Road, Glasgow G20 7YE.

Tickets for the conference are on sale now priced £19.95. For details go to the website: