Faculty member in contention for Woman of Influence Award

10 Mar

A member of Faculty has been shortlisted for the 2016 Woman of Influence Award by the charity, Action for Children Scotland.

Patricia Comiskey says she is “deeply honoured and taken aback” that her name should have been put forward for the title.

“The letter informing me that I had been selected as a finalist came totally out of the blue,” said Patricia.

In previous years, the award has gone to women such as Dame Elish Angiolini, the former Lord Advocate, Lorraine Kelly, the television presenter, Katherine Grainger, the Olympic gold medallist, and Helen Liddell, the first female Scottish Secretary.

The finalists for the 2016 title are Anne Lorne Gillies, singer/songwriter, Lady (Susan) Haughey, entrepreneur, Linda McDonald, who set up the charity Malawi Underprivileged Mothers (MUMs), Maureen McGonigle, founder of Scottish Women in Sport, and Patricia Comiskey.

Recently, Patricia, with other members of Faculty, the Tumbling Lassie Committee, raised awareness of modern day slavery and people trafficking through The Tumbling Lassie Seminar. They also organised The Tumbling Lassie Ball which raised about £14,000. Proceeds from the event were shared between two charities to combat human trafficking and uphold universal human rights: TARA (Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance), which supports victims of trafficking in Scotland, and the International Justice Mission, which works with local lawyers in the developing world to fight slavery there.

The Tumbling Lassie Committee is drawing up plans for another seminar and fundraising event this year.

“Though most people may believe that slavery is a historical crime, the awful reality for millions of people around the world today, including within the United Kingdom, is that slavery is still being imposed on vulnerable individuals, especially children,” said Patricia.

In the past, Patricia served as a board member of Stepfamily Scotland and was a member of the Women of Lothian Charity Lunch Committee, which raised funds for a variety of local charities.

She has also held membership of the Council of the Stair Society, which promotes the study and knowledge of the history of Scots Law, the Royal Overseas League Club, which supports and promotes young musicians and artists throughout the Commonwealth, and the Institute of Contemporary Scotland, which organises the Young Scotland Programme to develop communication skills, build confidence, and broaden the horizons of people in the community and in the early years of their careers.

Action for Children Scotland is holding a fundraising lunch and awards ceremony on Sunday, 20 March, at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.