Special award for gold-hearted Kirkcaldy girl

Leigh receives the shield from Noeline Raitt
Leigh receives the shield from Noeline Raitt

Staff at the Linton Lane in Kirkcaldy have made a special award to a special teenager in recognition of her outstanding work with the centre.

Leigh Scarlett Bonthrone (18), was presented with the Jim Raitt Shield, a trophy introduced in 2008 to commemorate the long-serving leader of Kirkcaldy Boys’ Club. It was put forward by his wife Noeline to be presented to young people who help promote the values of the club.

Mandy Henderson, the centre manager and Alan Westwater, youth worker, had little hesitation in putting Leigh’s name forward as just the fourth recipient of the trophy.

Leigh’s mum, Amber, is one of the partners in Stages Dance School which is run from the centre, and Leigh has been a constant presence,, volunteering her spare time to help the children who attend, providing the help and encouragement to build their self confidence and help them to realise and fulfill their skills in acting and dance.

And she has done this on top of her tireless fundraising for our Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of Victoria Hospital.

To date, Leigh has helped raise around £30,000 for the cancer caring centre after her dad John (49) was diagnosed in 2008. He had to undergo a 56 hour operation to remove a huge tumour from around his spine and rib cage, part of which was replaced by titanium plates.

Leigh and her family were helped throughout the difficult time by staff and volunteers at the centre. After the operation John faced a long battle back to health, but has recovered well.

To repay Maggie’s, Leigh has done lots of fundraising, from scootering across the Forth Road Bridge and taking part in the Twilight Walk, to being on the support teams for Maggie’s Monster Bike and Hike.

Mandy Henderson said: “Leigh has volunteered with the dance and drama workshops in the Linton Lane centre for years. She is friendly, polite and really encouraging to the younger children, highlighted a couple of years ago when she stepped in as the Fairy Godmother when one took stage fright.

“Leigh has worked extremely hard to further her career in dance and acting, and overcome a lot of hardship. She always puts others first and we hope this award will encourage her to achieve her dreams.”

Noeline Raitt, who presented the shield, added: “I was proud to be involved in the centre’s 50th anniversary and Leigh is a very worthy winner.”

Leigh, a student at Edinburgh’s MGA Academy of Performing Arts, said: “This was a complete surprise and honour. I don’t think I’ve done anything out of the ordinary, I just wanted to help those who helped me.”