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Recipients of John Smith Centre Award announced

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The John Smith Centre and The Robertson Trust are pleased to announce the first three awardees for the John Smith Centre Award for Robertson Scholars.

Our first three awardees are Megan Sutherland from Glasgow University and Jordan Cavell and Zainab Magzoub from the University of St Andrews.

This new award promotes the value of a public service vocation through two years of activity, during which our awardees will participate in the John Smith Centre Parliamentary Internship Programme, which centres around a 10-week part-time placement with an MSP, and then go on to a 3-week full-time placement with an MP, including a week at Westminster. Other activities will include networking events and an end of Award showcase.

The John Smith Centre for Public Service based at the University of Glasgow promotes a positive vision for representative politics. The Centre encourages the next generation of representatives to see politics as one of the most effective ways to pursue change through internship opportunities, advocacy and outreach events.

The Award is part of The Robertson Trust’s Career Pathways initiative, which seeks to increase the opportunities for Robertson Scholars to gain immersive experience in their chosen careers and enable them to secure good graduate positions.

Catherine Smith, Chair of the John Smith Centre, said: "The Centre promotes politics as a positive force, and an effective vehicle for change. We are committed to widening access to allow everyone a chance to serve. We are thrilled to be working with The Robertson Trust to give Robertson Scholars the opportunity to develop their skills by experiencing vital frontline public service roles. We can’t wait to work with Megan, Jordan and Zainab – our future change-makers!"

Scholars react: 

Megan Sutherland said: "I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to be able to learn from experts about elevating citizen’s voices to create meaningful change. I am proudly part of a movement working to ensure all care experienced people, a group suffering some of the worst outcomes in our society, experience equality, respect and love. I feel incredibly excited to be starting the internship and determined to use everything I learn from the experience to make the biggest impact I can towards this mission for future generations."

Jordan Cavell said: "Receiving the John Smith Award opens doors that would have been hard to open. I'll be able to gain a unique experience working in both Holyrood and Westminster. The networks and opportunities this will provide will be life-changing."

Zainab Magzoub said: "I'm very excited to be accepted on to this award as it will open up new opportunities for me to gain first hand experience and insight into the world of politics, something which has previously felt somewhat inaccessible."