Foundation's Amal Azzudin named Outstanding Woman of Scotland

1 August 2016

On Saturday, Amal Azzudin, Community Development Facilitator for the Mental Health Foundation, was recognised by the Saltire Society as a Young Outstanding Woman of Scotland for 2016.

Amal was one of 10 women, including Sarah Brown, JK Rowling OBE and Annie Lennox OBE, to be celebrated for "the significant difference women have made through their influence and leadership".

Amal was specifically recognised for her work in promoting human rights and social justice. She first started campaigning against the detention and deportation of asylum seekers in Glasgow when at school, and became known as one of the Glasgow Girls.

She then went on to complete a BA in community development and an MSc in human rights and international politics from the University of Glasgow. At the Mental Health Foundation, and as Community Development Facilitator, Amal is responsible for the development of the Foundation’s work with asylum seekers and refugees to raise awareness of their mental health needs and to decrease levels of distress, leading on the Foundation’s Amaan project

Amal Azzudin, Community Development Facilitator for the Mental Health Foundation, Scotland, said:

"I am delighted and honoured to have received this award. I will use this recognition to further raise awareness of the challenges faced by refugees and those seeking asylum and to fight for greater inclusion, resources and support."

Lee Knifton, Head of Mental Health Foundation Scotland, said:  

"The Mental Health Foundation is delighted that Amal’s hard work and commitment to change has been recognised by the Saltire Society. Her passion and drive deserve to be celebrated.

"We know that some groups in society experience mental health inequalities and are more at risk of developing mental health problems. Sadly, this is true of asylum seekers and refugees who have often experienced significant trauma. We are committed to raising awareness of the mental health needs of asylum seekers and refugees and ensuring that the right support is in place for them."

The Saltire Society "exists to support and celebrate all that is best in Scottish cultural life, from literature to the built environment, arts to heritage".

In 2014, in partnership with the Glasgow Women’s Library, it launched The Outstanding Women of Scotland campaign, "celebrating women who have made a significant contribution to Scotland's culture and society". The first of the inductees were announced on International Women’s Day in 2015, and on Saturday ten women, including Amal, were selected for 2016. Nominations were open to the public.

For further information or to arrange an interview with Amal Azzudin, please contact Cal Strode at the Mental Health Foundation on 020 7803 1151 or via cstrode@mentalthealth.org.uk.