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Criminology student wins national honour

An inspirational role model who has helped transform the lives of vulnerable young people for the past 18 years has been recognised with a national honour.

Scott Wilson, a University of Portsmouth student studying for a Professional Doctorate in Criminology, has been given a British Citizen Award for his services to the community. The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in January 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice a year and recognise ‘everyday’ people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

Scott Wilson

Scott Wilson

Scott, has worked with vulnerable young people as part of the Youth Justice Team for seven years in the Isle of Man since moving there seven years ago, after previously working with young people in London for 11 years. His support and intervention, often going over and above that required within his job, has helped many young people turn away from a life of crime and instead access employment, education and training.

Scott organised and setup an Appropriate Adult scheme on the island to help vulnerable people, including those in care, to understand how they can be supported should they get into trouble with the police. Before his intervention, there was no fully independent support available. He is also a great advocate of ‘restorative justice’ meetings, where crime victims are given the chance to show the harm that has been caused by the crime, and offenders are given the chance to put things right.

Those he has helped have said that his enthusiasm, hard work and determination has allowed them to feel like a valued part of the community again and to realise their potential. His dedication has also helped break down barriers faced by the island’s vulnerable and disadvantaged young people from employers and wider society.

Scott, is one of 30 medalists who was honoured at a prestigious ceremony, at the Palace of Westminster this month, receiving a Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medalists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.

Speaking about his nomination, Scott said: “Finding out about the award was a shock really. In my line of work, you don’t really get people coming back all the time and saying thanks you for helping me.

“I spoke to a young woman recently who I had helped six years ago and she told me she was just about to move into a new flat and that I had helped her turn her life around. It made me realise that I do actually make a difference to people’s lives and it’s quite touching really.”

Scott was nominated for a BCA by a young service-user and a friend and colleague Marcia Brabbs, who said: “Everyone that I have ever spoken to who has worked alongside Scott has never stopped praising him, he’s simply excellent at his job and I’m not alone in saying it. He has made such a difference to the young people he works with, because he treats them like people not problems.

“It’s clear to see that he truly cares. There couldn’t be a better person to receive this award. He is changing our island for the better and he deserves this recognition for it.”

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