The thin blue line leads teens in right direction
MOTIVATED youngsters from Campbeltown could one day be among those helping out at national events like the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
A group of 16 Campbeltown Grammar school students, aged between 13 and 15, were encouraged to sign up for Police Scotland’s Youth Volunteers (PSYV) initiative, by group coordinator PC Karen Cairns.
The new group aims to encourage good citizenship among young people and inspire them to participate positively in their community through volun- teering, while promoting an understanding of policing.
The youngsters who complete the threeyear programme will be accredited with an SCQF level four qualification which may assist them with future employment, college or university.
Their 12-week training programme began on Tuesday and involves the young people learning drill, the phonetic alphabet, how to use radios, and diversity and drug and alcohol inputs, with the assistance of Police Scotland’s adult volunteers.
Once fully trained, the youngsters will take part in a passing out parade and will be deployed officially as PSYV. Their first major volunteering event will be assisting with the town’s Christmas lights switch-on.
The youngsters will join the ranks of other youth volunteers, from Shetland to Stranraer, and will have the opportunity to help at some of the country’s top events, including Edinburgh’s Military Tattoo where, this year, many PSYV members played a major role.
A passionate Dario D’Andrea, Police Scotland’s regional coordinator for PSYV, told the youngsters and parents who had gathered at a launch night last week that not only would the initiative help their confidence grow, but it may lead to life-long friendships, formed when visiting other PSYV groups across the country.
Chief Inspector Marlene Bailey, area commander for Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the islands, said: ‘This is a fantastic and exciting development in the last year since Karen took on the role of youth engagement officer.
‘This worthwhile and beneficial initiative is all new to us, and Dario’s support has been first class. Karen has worked tirelessly and she’s really passionate about this.’
Karen, who has her eye on the top prize at the PSYV annual competition, added: ‘Campbeltown will be winning next year - they won’t know what’s hit them.’
Adult and some of the youth volunteers who are part of the PSYV initiative.