UNSUNG star of the Bo’ness community Lilias Snedden was gobsmacked to receive a ‘One in a Million’ accolade from STV teatime show The Hour.
Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus and a tv crew descended upon St Andrew’s Church youth cafe last Friday to reveal she’d been nominated as a community hero.
Lilias then swapped Bo’ness for the Pacific Quay live studio on Monday and her boundless energy was the focus of a six-minute slot with Michelle and fellow presenter Stephen Jardine.
Before Michelle sprung her surprise visit, she’d told viewers: “Lilias Snedden has dedicated her entire life to helping other people and I’m here tonight at a weekly youth group meeting that she organises.
“In the past year she’s graduated with a BA in youth work, and over the past decade she’s served on the Bo’ness Community Council, she’s volunteered as a Boys Brigade officer, she helped set up and run Valley FM, recently she’s helped with the snow clearance with all the bad weather, she helps delivers meals to the elderly within the community, and has helped fundraise for the student exchange programme to India that’s taking place next month.
“I’m out of breath, this woman does not stop!
“We’re here tonight to tell her she’s one in a million.”
Lilias (45), who had no inkling of what lay in store, this week told the Bo’ness Journal: “I was just looking at her and what was going through my head was I’d just been watching The Hour before I’d gone to the youth cafe, and I was thinking, ‘how has she got up here?’
“It was just overwhelming really.”
Michelle spent a good hour at the church and youngsters’ tributes included, ‘Lilias is like a mum to me and I’m really proud of her’, ‘she’s never selfish’, ‘she’s a star, she does everything for this town, always has’, and ‘she’s got a really good sense of humour’.
Joining her on The Hour sofa were husband David and friend Aileen Drysdale, who’d made the nomination, also mentioning the breakfast club, and saying the Friday night youth cafe helped keep youngsters off the streets.
Asked what spurred her on, Lilias said: “My faith initially, I have to say that’s a driving force behind what I do, but young people inspire me so much, I just get inspired by even the smallest thing young people say, it’s amazing.”
She added it wouldn’t be possible without her family - police officer David (46) and children Abigail (15), Alistair (17), and Adam (20).
The Sneddens and Aileen had arrived early at the studio and got their hair and makeup done before rehearsing the segment.
But the crew didn’t show Lilias all the footage in advance as they wanted it to be quite spontaneous.
The mood in the studio was lighthearted, with host Stephen joking to David: “Has she got any faults at all? Because she seems pretty perfect to us actually!”
To which David quipped: “I’m sure she has but I’ve still to find them!”
Lilias was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers from The Hour team, before being whisked off for a takeaway on the way home to Bo’ness.
“It was just amazing!” she said.