THE value and impact of young Wee County volunteers was highlighted by a local member of youth parliament at Holyrood last week.

Clackmannanshire MSYP Huw Sherrard was at the Scottish Parliament last Thursday, June 7, meeting the Cross Party Group on Volunteering.

Also vice chair of the Clackmannanshire Youth Council, Huw met MSPs and other volunteers representing a range of organisations.

The meeting marked the end of Volunteers’ Week, with Huw adding: “I was very grateful to the organisation Volunteer Scotland for inviting me along to discuss my experience volunteering as both a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament and as the vice chair of the Clackmannanshire Youth Council.”

The teen also paid tribute to fellow youth councillors Lauren McCabe, Lilly Morris-Crombie and chair Lewis McDermott.

Lewis, 19, said: “The organisation is a crucial stepping stone in young people's involvement with decision making, acting as the much needed representative voice for Clackmannanshire's young people at a policy making level.

“For our youth councillors – all young volunteers between the ages of 14-25 – the council offers a wealth of unique opportunities that allows these young people to develop and grow in a very hands-on and interactive manner.”

Lauren, 15, explained that being involved helped her in growing her confidence.

She added: “The Youth Council has dramatically improved my public speaking abilities – I am confidently able to speak in front of my peers. I have been able to widen my knowledge of local and national issues.

"I have made many new friends, met councillors, council officers and enjoy working with all the staff at education CLD (community learning and development).

"It has, and will continue to give me an experience where I can gain new skills in an environment unlike any other.”

Huw added: “During the cross party group meeting I had the chance to celebrate the incredible amount of time and effort that MSYPs and youth councillors regularly volunteer for their communities.

“Although I wasn’t able to read them out on the day, I would also like to thank my fellow youth councillors Lewis McDermott, Lilly Morris-Crombie, and Lauren McCabe for allowing me to take their descriptions of their time volunteering in our local youth council – the Clackmannanshire Youth Council – to the Scottish Parliament.

“The fact that Lauren, one of our youngest youth councillors; Lilly, one of our newest youth councillors; and Lewis, one of our most experienced youth councillors, have all had such a positive experience volunteering as youth representatives is fantastic news and I hope they encourage young people across the Wee County to follow in their footsteps.”