Scotland may be in lock-down but our volunteers continue to engage with young people across the country

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By Jamie Milligan

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The SFRS Youth Volunteer Scheme is currently operational in Campbeltown, Dumbarton, Helensburgh, Kilmarnock and Tobermory.

It is open to young people aged between 12 and 18 and developed around a three-phase syllabus designed to deepen and broaden knowledge, skills, competence and confidence.

And as the country marks Volunteers' Week, volunteer youth instructors and youth volunteers are continuing to engage despite being in lock-down.

Linsey Neilson is our Youth Volunteer Scheme National Officer.

She revealed: "The young people have various things to balance with school and staying in touch with friends, but volunteer youth instructors have kept them engaged in many innovative ways and the majority have responded really well.

"In week one of lock-down we looked at how we could adapt and continue to engage.

"The young people have really rallied round and have kept in touch with fellow youth volunteers across the country.

"Local schemes have been using social media and virtual meetings to keep young people active and connected to YVS and all work undertaken during lockdown will contribute to their personal development record when they return to station.

"The Youth Volunteers have been set online challenges by their volunteer youth instructors (or by their instructors)which can be done by using things around the house.

"They have completed LEGO challenges and have used items like ties and dog leads to practice tying knots and lines all in-between their weekly ‘virtual sessions’"

Linsey is keen to promote the value of volunteer work and is grateful to those who give up the time - young people and adults.

She said "The Youth Volunteer Scheme is a two way street and doesn't just involve young people learning from adults - the adults are often amazed what they can learn from the youth volunteers too.

"Volunteering can be a big commitment, but all of our volunteers show the true spirit of youth work and working with young people. 

"The flexible and dedicated approach taken during lockdown has been remarkable and a true reflection of the YVS aim to enable young people to work together for a safer Scotland."