Challenge laid down to pupils

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The guest speaker at the prize-giving delivered a truly inspirational speech which challenged the pupils to speak out for the ‘forgotten people’.

Gary Malone, chief executive officer with Voluntary Action Angus, spoke of his journey out of Lochee, which he described as one of the poorest communities in Dundee, and in to Voluntary Action Angus.

He has worked with the charity for the last 13 years; it now has 26 of a staff, mostly aged under 25.

He spoke openly about his upbringing - the son of an illiterate weaver whose determination and commitment to speaking up for the ‘forgotten people’ in society led him to go on to help found the Gowrie Housing Association.

Mr Malone said: “He formed that for the forgotten people and liberated thousands into community life.”

Thursday’s prize-giving was the first he had been invited to attend, and he used the occasion to encourage the pupils to speak out against discrimination.

He spoke of his bitter disappointment that, even today, there are still elderly residents living in isolation in Angus.

He said: “I encourage you all to stretch out your hand and bring them back.

“This is not the end of your education - this is the start.”