Chieftain 2019 – Samantha Ella Embury

Samantha’s heart lives on Bute. As a child her grandfather, John Bute, took her on adventures all over the island – visiting farms, clearing the beaches, climbing trees, treasure hunts at Mount Stuart and ascending hills to tell tales of the sleeping giant. As a little girl he inspired her with his passion and love for the island, which she has inherited in a big way. He remains to this day her most inspirational person and Bute her most favourite place.
After graduating from university, Sam travelled to Brazil where she worked with an NGO supporting street children in Recife. She spent her time in favelas teaching English and working with young children and teenage mothers. On her return to the UK, she worked as a Learning Mentor in an inner city secondary school supporting young people at risk of exclusion.
She now runs a building company with her husband, Gavin; as well as being a full time mum to her two children, Louie and Honor.
On Bute, she has taken the reins of the Bute Family Charitable Trust set up by her grandfather in 1981. The trust was created to provide funds for charitable purposes with emphasis on the Isle of Bute and west coast of Scotland and focuses on the Community, Youth and Health & Awareness.
The Bute Family Charitable Trust has pledged over half a million pounds in funding to worthwhile causes including funding for Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis’ Rothesay support room and office; an annual Canadian Science Scholarship for a Brandane student; iPads for Rothesay Joint campus, St Andrew Primary and North Bute Primary schools; support to the Bute Advice Centre; trips for local school children; the annual special achievement awards at Rothesay Academy; plus donations to many local organisations such as Achievement Bute, Apple Tree Nursery; Bute Elderly Befrienders; Calum’s Cabin, Rothesay Pipe Band; Beachwatch Bute and  many more.  Sam says ‘Community Spirit is at the heart of Bute.  It is an honor to be able to support the island community through the Bute Family Charitable Trust; as well as getting to know the phenomenal people behind these amazing projects.’
Samantha is on the board of the Mount Stuart Trust; where her focus as a board member is on advocating community involvement; inclusivity, education and promoting tourism on Bute.
She also works regularly with the amazing team at Ritchie’s of Rothesay, ensuring people all over the world know about the best smoked fish from one of Scotland’s oldest smoke houses.
Sam married Gavin on Bute with events at the Shinty Club and at Mount Stuart. Her love for the island has been passed down to her children Louie and Honor. Louie would like to be a farmer on Bute when he grows up (and play football for Scotland!) She has also managed to convince her husband to support Scotland in all sporting activities… whilst wearing his kilt if possible.
She feels incredibly honoured to have been asked to the Chieftain at this year’s Bute Highland Games and she hopes her grandfather would be very proud!