The thin blue line leads teens in right di­rec­tion

Campbeltown Courier - - NEWS -

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.’

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Adult and some of the youth vol­un­teers who are part of the PSYV ini­tia­tive.

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