As Told by... #YSHive Volunteers

Meet the young people who volunteer with Young Scot, as they let you know what it's really like to represent #YSHive.

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Emma, 16, Edinburgh

#YSHealth Panel

I am in fifth year in school. I hope to study Medicine at University. I also work as a care worker for a charity. Even though I have not been involved with Young Scot for very long, it has been a wonderful experience which I never expected to love as much as I do.  I wanted to volunteer as a part of the Young Scot Health Panel as I am passionate about health issues, especially those affecting young people. I am particularly interested in mental health issues, women’s sexual and contraceptive health as well as disabilities and chronic health conditions.  I cannot pick the thing I love best about Young Scot! I honestly never thought I would enjoy volunteering with Young Scot as much as I do. I have had the pleasure of meeting some brilliant and fascinating young people – from lots of various backgrounds.  Just go and apply! The most important thing I think when applying to Young Scot projects is showing that you have a genuine passion. You do not need to be an expert or the most confident person in the world (I definitely am not!). 

Heather, 16, Perth 

#YSHealth Panel

I am currently going into S6 and study Jazz Saxophone on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior program on a weekly basis. I am hoping to apply to Vet Medicine this year… scary biscuits! Having only joined the Young Scot Health Panel on upon formation in August 2019 Young Scot have granted me countless additional opportunities to get involved in throughout their work (and beyond!) in everything from councils to research projects there is always something exciting going on. As much as I enjoy volunteering as a whole, I particularly resonate with the opportunity to tackle health issues such as alcohol advertising/marketing, period poverty and body image. It feels nice to try and step off the beaten track set by our often well intentioned yet misleading communities and help provide young people with a more balanced view. The staff have a real talent for engaging young people and support you the full time. We may work hard but that doesn’t mean we don’t play hard! We’ve done everything from laser tag to movie nights which I feel really bond us together as a panel even though we are living on opposite sides of the country. If you’re passionate about embarking upon our journey to supply young people with better opportunities across the country and are a determined individual that pursues their passions, then volunteering is definitely for you! It not only spices up your CV but enlightens your world view as well as giving you experiences you’ll cherish and friends you’ll never forget. 

Tara, 17,  Aberdeen

#YSHealth Panel

I am at school and will be going into S6 in August! Volunteering to me, is simply about working towards something bigger than yourself. I am able to distance myself from petty fights and politics because I’m focused on more important things. Being a team player gives me the pride of that what you can accomplish as part of a team will always be greater than what you would be able to on your own. I have also gained a bottomless reservoir of patience, tenacity, compassion and empathy from having endometriosis and occasionally suffering from anxiety, but these were also strengthened by having a one-year old brother. I have always had a passion for helping people, and part of having these experiences means I truly understand the depth of what people can go through. The power of opening up about my own experiences may help them deal with their own a bit better - and for me being this is the only way young people can contribute to changing the world through such small actions. It’s honestly so much fun! There is such a strong sense of community between all the volunteers whether they are new or old. No one wants to outcompete someone else and we are all here for the same purpose - we want to improve the quality of life in young people. You truly don’t know what it’s like unless you give it a genuine go! Volunteer work has a stigma around it - as being like chore work, but it is the complete opposite. Compared to other areas of work, this is truly the most rewarding type you will ever get. 

Yusirat, 17, Glasgow

Learner Journey Project, Fairer Future and TECScot

I volunteer because I believe it’s a good opportunity to develop and gain new skills. Volunteering with Young Scot has allowed me fight for things I believe in, such as race equality in Scotland with the Fairer Futures project and have a say on how my education is delivered with the Learner Journey Project. Young Scot is like a second home to me and has made me grow as a person. I love meeting new people the food is delicious and the residentials are always so much fun! It only takes a small step to make a difference. 

Ewan, 14, East Ayrshire

#YSHealth Panel

Volunteering has such wide possibilities and impacts. With Young Scot, I'm able to help make a big impact on young people's health and wellbeing. I also am able to work with other young people who are passionate about young people and their health. My favourite part of working with Young Scot is the people I volunteer with. Everyone is so nice and we all got to know each other really quickly. We now all have group chats and have lockdown digital catch-ups regularly. Go for it! There's nothing to lose and volunteering with Young Scot means you could help make positive change for young people around Scotland!

Cameron, 25, South Lanarkshire  

Year of Young People 2018, Learner Journey Review Advisory Group, YSWork, Volunteer Review.  

I work for the Scottish Commission for people with Learning Disabilities Full time as well as volunteering with Young Scot. I like to volunteer because it gives me more experience, plus I get to meet more young people and hear about their fantastic skills and experiences. I like to volunteer with Young Scot as the staff are brilliant and they accommodate my needs.  The best part is working with the team as you get to know them and the members of staff and I also like that they can mix work with a little bit of leisure at the same time. Another highlight of volunteering is the overnight residential - there are always activities like laser tag to do. Don’t be afraid. When starting a project, the kick off day or residential might feel a bit over-whelming but if you think that is the case, speak to the key member of staff and they will be able to help you.  Also don’t be afraid to speak up also. If there are any things that staff can do it make it more accessible to you, then speak to them and they will be able to try accommodate this for you. 

Elena, 17, Glasgow 

Youth Loneliness Panel, Volunteer Review

I'm a full-time secondary school student and I like to read and watch documentaries in my spare time. Volunteering for Young Scot allows my voice to be heard but also allows me to tackle important issues with substantial input from volunteers. The diversity of Young Scot is so amazing because there are individuals from all over Scotland with different backgrounds. My favourite part of volunteering are the residentials as they are a unique and fun experience where you can make many new friends. My advice is get involved- there is a project for everyone.

Got questions?

For pretty much everything you might want to know about volunteering with Young Scot, check out our Volunteering F.A.Q!

Looking for something to get involved with?

Explore our opportunities to volunteer.

Don’t see anything that interests you?

Email our team at YSHive@young.scot to share what matters to you and find out about projects that might be coming up.