I didn’t have an easy start in life. I grew up in poverty and at school I was bullied, and sometimes I couldn’t ever imagine things getting better. But social action truly did help me get my life back on track. I first got involved when I was just 12, and over the past eight years I’ve had some incredible experiences. I’ve worked directly with other young people, implementing personal youth development programmes in Edinburgh, and volunteering as a peer mentor.
One of my proudest achievements is working with Police Scotland and Edinburgh Council to design and implement a youth action scheme. After a 12-month pilot, youth crime rates in my local area are at the lowest they’ve been for over a decade. I also represent young people’s voices as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, which I’ve done since I was 14, and I’ve been part of four successful campaigns – some grassroots, others national. Throughout my teenage years, I raised over £10,000 for five different charities, and I’m continuing to raise money for people in need.
I think I probably volunteer over 20 hours a week and now, at the age of 20, I’m still a keen campaigner for the UK’s most vulnerable and disenfranchised young people.