June 17 2019
There was emotion in the air at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as the winner of Nil by Mouth’s first Hugh Gallagher Award was announced at a ceremony marking the achievements of the University of Strathclyde’s Post-Graduate Diploma of Education Class of 2019.
Hugh was a much loved former course leader of the PGDE Course at Strathclyde and was also a supporter of Nil by Mouth until he passed away in 2018. In recognition of this the charity will sponsor an award in his memory over the next three years.
Judged by a panel of Hugh’s former colleagues and family members students on the course are asked to submit a piece of writing, poetry or reflections on the theme of ‘Tolerance.’
From a high quality shortlist, Amy Smith from South Lanarkshire was chosen as the first winner of the award for her fantastic poem ‘Nae Bother.’ Hugh’s wife said that, when reading it, she could almost hear Hugh saying the words out loud in his unashamedly west coast accent.
Amy’s work was read with great aplomb by Hugh’s former colleague and friend Raymond Soltysek at the ceremony which saw a celebration of the achievements more than 200 students who will now begin their teaching careers in High schools across the country.
Written in Scots ‘Nae Bother’ is a poem focusing on the challenges people face for being different to others and the role teachers can play in building tolerance, understanding and change. It earned a huge round of applause from the gathered guests, dignitaries and Amy’s fellow students.
We will share the poem a little later in the year and, fingers crossed, it will be picked up by publishers and media outlets – its certainly more than worthy. Amy will begin her teaching career in August but its clear her life as a poet is well underway!
During his life Hugh Gallagher was a ceaseless source of inspiration to others. We hope that through this award his memory will continue to do so. We are grateful to Hugh’s family and colleagues at Strathclyde for taking the time to judge the award and for all the students who took time to enter.