Young volunteers congratulated at passing out ceremony

Twenty-four young people from around Shetland were rewarded for their volunteering efforts at a passing out ceremony on Thursday evening.

The youngsters have spent much of the year volunteering with the police force as part of the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) scheme.

The initiative allowed the teenagers, aged 13 to 16, to participate in a variety of activities designed to aid them in learning practical lessons about the police’s role in society.

During their 16 week course the volunteers were taught about the phonetic alphabet and how to fill out a police notebook, they participated in anti-terrorism and radio exercises and volunteered their services at community events such as the Cunningsburgh Show.

Eight of the volunteers travelled south to Edinburgh to volunteer at the Tattoo and also to compete against other PSYVs at the Tulliallan Police College.

At the passing out ceremony, held at Gilbertson Hall, a large crowd of local dignitaries and proud family members were in attendance to see the volunteers awarded with a certificate.

National representatives of young people were also in attendance, including Louise Macdonald OBE of the YoungScot charity and Jim Sweeney MBE of YouthLink Scotland.

During her speech Ms Macdonald explained her organisations support for the scheme. She said that YoungScot had asked young people how they would like to be involved with the police and their message was that they “wanted to be seen as part of the solution, not the problem.”

Speaking after the ceremony programme co-ordinator PC Carole Smith said that the police were delighted that the programme had been a success, adding that all involved were hopeful that “it continues for a long time yet.”

Mr Sweeney of YouthLink Scotland said: “I think what this programme does is that it breaks a lot of barriers. It brings the police back to being an active part of the youth community.

“For the young people it gets them to express themselves and learn outside of the school environment and it allows them to see what challenges face the police service in the real light of day, which is important because it gives them a wider view of society.

He added: “The fact that they are out there doing something productive in the community will help to improve their image. The thing about young people is that we often only hear about the ones who crash, but the truth is that they are very committed to good causes. They’re very generous.”

The volunteers congratulated at the passing out ceremony were: Ewan Card (15), Felix Sukrahm (13), Danny Clubb (15), Libby Tregonning (13), Kayleigh Turner (13), Loni Wiseman (Outstanding Achievement award) (14), Ethan Grogan (13), Leisha Jarret (16), Christine Johnson (15), Chloe Leask (14), Ross Nicholson (15), Chloe Nisbet (13), Abbie Nicolson (15), Dean Douglas (15), Craig Pottinger (14), Jake Rendall (13), Sonny Smith (14), Liam Stove (15), Rachel Dorrat (15), Dionne Pottinger (15), Henry Oldbury (absent) and Abbie Galbraith (absent).


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