Golspie group’s success in anti-smoking competition

A Golspie youth Group has won a £500 award in a national anti-smoking competition; “The Crofton Award for best newcomer”.

Golspie Youth Action Project’s winning entry is based on a proposal to make an animated film highlighting the dangers of smoking, for showing at schools and youth clubs.

The Crofton Award was launched by the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) in partnership with Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland for the first time in 2009, to recognise the contributions young people in Scotland make towards reducing the harm caused by tobacco.

The Crofton Award is the only award that recognises the achievements of young people in reducing tobacco and smoking-related harm in Scotland. This unique award contributes towards the development of new ideas and innovation by and for young people themselves with prize money of £1500 shared between two groups - £1000 for the Crofton Award and £500 for the Crofton Award Best Newcomer.

The Crofton Award Best Newcomer Award recognises that groups may have just become involved, or would like to get involved, in reducing the harm caused by smoking in their area. This award of £500 is for the best project that has or will tackle tobacco for the first time.

Smoking continues to kill 13,500 people in Scotland every year, and young people have long been a target for the tobacco industry in their desire to recruit new smokers to replace those who quit or die. However, many young people today work together to challenge the might of their industry, and through their enthusiasm, commitment, and ability to relate to and communicate with their peers often achieve results other organisations cannot.

The award was presented to the winners by Alistair Thomson, The Highland Council’s Head of Environmental Health & Trading Standards and President of The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland and Councillor Jim McGillivray at the recent Highland Council, East Sutherland and Edderton Ward Forum meeting.

The Crofton Award is named in honour of Sir John Crofton, and Lady Eileen Crofton, both prolific campaigners against the harm caused by tobacco. Sir John Crofton, born in 1912, was a pioneer in the treatment of tuberculosis. As Professor of Respiratory Diseases and Tuberculosis at the University of Edinburgh from 1952-1977, he is famous for developing a highly effective treatment for TB. John reduced TB in Edinburgh to almost zero in six years with his groundbreaking and revolutionary method of treatment with a combination of drugs. His work, leading to the mass BCG vaccination reduced TB in Britain from 50,000 recorded cases in the 1950s to just 5,500 in 1987.

Sir John also spent more than half his life fighting to raise awareness about the harm caused to public health by tobacco. He argued for policies to control smoking and tobacco and called for smoke-free legislation long before it became law, knowing the important contribution it would make to future public health.

Sir John and his wife Dr Eileen Crofton also played a pivotal role in founding ASH Scotland in 1973. Sadly Sir John died in November 2009 and Lady Crofton also passed away in 2010.

When REHIS and ASH decided to launch an award for young people in recognition of the achievement of young people in reducing tobacco and smoking-related harm in Scotland they decided to do this in honour of Sir John and Lady Eileen Crofton’s tireless work over the decades in tobacco control.

The Crofton Best Newcomer winners are the Golspie Youth Action Project  Golspie Youth Action Project was set up in 1993 and provides a space for young people to meet. For many of them this is the first time they mix in a social environment away from parental supervision which increases independence. The broad range of activities and workshops that the Project provides are designed to allow them to try new things, to take them out of their ‘comfort zone’ and challenge them both physically and emotionally which will increase self-confidence. The Project also gives them the opportunity to mix with and learn from their peers and to develop their social skills by building new friendships. They also offer educational workshops on subjects such as drug and alcohol and sexual health matters.


16 Dec 2010