PREPARE to be dazzled – it is almost time to reveal who will be crowned the 58th Glasgow Times Scotswoman of the Year.

Tomorrow night’s virtual extravaganza, in association with St Enoch Centre, will be streamed on our Facebook page at 7pm.

Ongoing Covid restrictions, of course, mean that sadly we cannot hold our usual party.

However, that means EVERYONE can share in the magic of SWOTY as we announce the winner of both our main award, and the Young Scotswoman of the Year trophy.

Entertainment is being provided by a tremendous trio of performers at the top of their game – singers Melanie Masson and Marina Rolink, and poet Len Pennie.

Melanie, who shot to fame on X Factor and has since toured all over the world, performing alongside artists as diverse as Pink and the Stereophonics, said: “I’m delighted to be part of SWOTY this year.

“It’s a privilege to be part of an event which celebrates Scottish women - we are made of strong stuff.

“It’s wonderful to see women supporting women and for everyone to celebrate their abilities and achievements. Congratulations to all.”

Marina Rolink. Pic: Warner Media

Marina Rolink. Pic: Warner Media

Soulful Glasgow singer Marina, who studied songwriting at the Academy of Music and Sound, said: “Being asked to perform for this year’s SWOTY awards has been such a lovely honour.

“It’s so important to promote women and their successes, so I couldn’t have been more pleased to be a part of the event.”

Len, a student of modern languages and a poet who writes predominantly in the Scots language, has watched her posts on social media go viral this year.

Len Pennie

Len Pennie

She is passionate about the promotion of minority languages and the destigmatisation of mental illness. She was recently named poet laureate of the St Andrew’s Society of Los Angeles.

“I’m delighted to be part of SWOTY,” she said.

Tomorrow night will see two winners crowned from a spectacular shortlist.

The winner of Young SWOTY, which is open to women and girls across Scotland aged between 12 and 21, has been decided by a public vote.

In the running are Erskine cyclist Lusia Steele, 21, who won a silver medal in her first European Championships and is now on course to represent Great Britain at the Olympics in 2024; Roseanna Campbell, 21, from Edinburgh, who lived in care throughout her teens and is now a passionate volunteer at 6VT Edinburgh City Youth Café, speaking at events around the country and ensuring young people’s voices are heard; Juliana Sweeney-Baird, 18, from Bearsden, a talented skater and current British junior champion who is losing her sight due to a rare genetic condition; awardwinning writer and Girlguiding advocate Amanda Amaeshi, 16, from Dunfermline, who raises awareness of issues such as the lack of women in STEM and the harms of fast fashion; and Katie Pake, 13, from Glenrothes, who survived bone cancer and the amputation of her leg to become a champion swimmer and inspirational fundraiser.

The contenders for the 2020 Scotswoman of the Year are Linda Bamford, Monica Lennon, Professor Jill Belch, Eunice Olumide, Professor Devi Sridhar and the collective driving force behind NHS For the Love of Scrubs Maja and Mirka Jankowska, Clare Boyle and Holly Baxter-Weir.

Linda, who is chairperson of Disabilty Equality Scotland, was a frontline nurse and paramedic who had to give up her job because of a spinal cord injury. She turned her attention to disability campaigning, and has had a huge impact on Scottish transport policy.

MSP Monica worked tirelessly to champion The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 in the Scottish Parliament, the world’s first legislation to make sanitary products free to those in need. Her Bill was supported by all parties and has changed lives across the country.

NHS Scotland For the Love of Scrubs was a mammoth appeal to provide scrubs for frontline workers during the pandemic. The four women behind it have raised more than £68,000 and enlisted 400 volunteers. Maja, Mirka, Clare Boyle and Holly Baxter-Weir worked tirelessly to rally support and the campaign has now provided more than 1500 sets of scrubs.

Jill’s campaign Masks for Scotland raised more than £430,000 and delivered more than one million pieces of PPE around the country in six months. In her day job, Professor Belch is renowned for having developed effective treatments for vascular disease while establishing Dundee as a leading research centre in the field.

READ MORE: SWOTY 2020 - fantastic finalists revealed

Eunice shot to fame as Scotland’s first black supermodel, appearing on the catwalks for the likes of Christopher Kane and Harris Tweed, but she is also well known and respected as a fundraiser, activist and author. She recently successfully petitioned the Scottish Parliament in a bid to have Afro-Scottish history taught in schools.

Devi is one of the world’s most inspirational global health experts, and for the past year she has been an expert adviser on Scottish and UK governmental committees, helping people across Scotland understand Covid and its effect on their day to day lives. She was the US’s youngest Rhodes Scholar, aged 18, and became Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh when she was 30.

Tune in on our Facebook page at 7pm tomorrow (Thursday, April 29) and don’t miss our extended SWOTY coverage tomorrow and Friday in print and online.