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Volunteer tour guide is Young Scot “Heritage Hero” 2012

30 April 2012

                                    Sean Press from Aberdeen is this the winner of the Sunday Mail Young Scot Heritage Hero Award 2012. Sean (right) is pictured with Historic Scotland Chief Executive Ruth Parsons, and Lewis McGowan, who presented the award at the prize-giving ceremony in Glasgow.

An Aberdeen teenager has been announced as the Sunday Mail Young Scot “Heritage Hero” 2012 following a glittering awards ceremony in Glasgow.

Sean Press (17), from Kingswells, is a young historian who volunteers at the Gordon Highlanders’ Museum in Aberdeen, where he offers tours and conducts research.

He was chosen from a shortlist of three that also included John Crawford (18), an apprentice with The National Trust for Scotland at Culzean Castle, and Rebecca Stapley (24), a volunteer at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum since it opened in 2010.

The Heritage Hero category of the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards is sponsored by Historic Scotland, and recognises and celebrates young people who give their time selflessly to protect, maintain and support the nation’s historic environment.

Now in their seventh year, the Awards celebrate the outstanding and unsung achievements of Scotland’s young people, and counter the often negative perception of today’s youth. The scheme seeks inspirational individuals aged eleven to 26 who have a positive difference by improving their community.

On Friday night, the three shortlisted Heritage Heroes joined youngsters from 12 other categories at a lavish prize-giving ceremony in the Glasgow Hilton, where entertainment included a performance from X Factor winner Matt Cardle.

Heritage Hero winner Sean works as part of a team at the Highlanders’ Museum, and enjoys sharing his knowledge and love of local history with visitors from around the world. He is also chairman of Aberdeen City Youth Council.

Sean said: “I started volunteering at the Museum around three years ago, when I began taking tours. Over the years I’ve moved into research, although I still take tours when I’m needed.

“I help people with family history research, and I’m also looking to improve the information we hold on our medals and armoury. I’ve created a book that visitors can look through for family records, and I’ve been studying some of our weapons, including a Lee Enfield rifle used on the SS River Clyde during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1916.

“Although I’m going on to university to study history and politics later this year, I will continue to work at the Museum.”

He added that it has been “a great honour” to meet all the other Young Scot Awards finalists.

Historic Scotland Chief Executive Ruth Parsons said: “I am delighted that Sean has won the Heritage Hero Award 2012. It is extremely encouraging to see young people like Sean, John and Rebecca, with a such passion for Scottish history. Their enthusiasm for Scotland’s heritage and their energy and commitment to share this knowledge with others, is truly inspiring.

Ruth added: “The Young Scot Awards are a unique opportunity to ensure these special young people are deservedly recognised.”

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at:

  • The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at

                                                           Year of Creative Scotland 2012

For further information

David Gray
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8588 or 07854 366 805