The Charity Awards, organised by Civil Society Media, recognised YMCA Scotland for its Plusone mentoring scheme - a community-based programme in Bellshill, Perth and Kirkcaldy, that works with young people aged between 8 and 14 helping to divert them from involvement with the youth justice system.
Relying on the skills and life experiences of local volunteers who work with the youngsters on a one to one basis, the scheme has helped over 60 vulnerable young people, significantly reducing instances of re-offending, improving school attendance, reducing substance misuse and enabling the young people to achieve their fullest potential.
Peter Crory said:
"We have already been able to see so many young lives transformed through Plusone and getting this wider recognition from our peers is testament to the hard work and dedication from volunteers and staff across Scotland that made it happen.
Winning such a prestigious award is a real thrill and it's wonderful to know that the work we are doing is being appreciated."
The Charity Awards is the highest profile event in the charity calendar. Awards are presented in 10 categories with each of the winning charities having been judged by an independent panel of sector leaders as having demonstrated outstanding best practice from which other organisations can learn.
In addition to the category winners, awards were also presented to The HALO Trust (Overall winner) and Dame Fiona Reynolds of The National Trust (Outstanding leadership).
Daniel Phelan, organiser of The Charity Awards comments:
"The Charity Awards programme recognises the exceptional work that takes place within the voluntary sector and the dramatic effects that charities have on a wide spectrum of social needs.
What the winning charities all have in common is their ability to turn innovation, passion and vision into an effective project or organisation demonstrating considerable impact. It's vital that we acknowledge these achievements, which is why I'm delighted YMCA Scotland has won the Children and youth award. It is thoroughly deserved and I congratulate everyone involved."
John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, which sponsors The Charity Awards, comments:
"I would like to congratulate and commend all the winning charities this year, as well as all those who were highly commended. The judges singled out those charities whose excellence in charity management they felt will inspire others. Once again the calibre of entries was very impressive and each and every one of the awards richly deserved."