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The newest recruits to join the ranks of Argyll and Bute’s first Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) group have been commended by the region’s area commander.
At a passing out parade and awards ceremony on Tuesday evening, Chief Inspector Marlene Bailey, area commander for Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands, said that some local police officers could learn a thing or two about trouser pressing from the youngsters.
CI Bailey spoke in front of family, friends and invited guests after inspecting the youngsters on the former RAF parade square at Machrihanish Airbase Community Company.
Spectators who observed the parade drill were later welcomed to the awards ceremony in the Officers’ Mess by youth engagement officer PC Karen Cairns, Campbeltown PSYV’s group coordinator.
PC Cairns said: ‘I am extremely proud of every one of them for their efforts and for the way they have conducted themselves this evening.
‘We have an excellent bunch of youths in this programme and many of them are already showing great leadership skills in this short time.’
She reminded everyone that the PSYV, which was founded in Campbeltown in 2017, is about volunteering in the local community and further afield for no personal gain other than the feeling of gratification for giving something back.
‘This, to me, highlights the type of good, kind and considerate individuals that have signed up,’ she said,’ and I feel very lucky to have all of you on board.’
She explained that the youngsters have taken part in various events throughout the year and are looking forward to assisting at Oban Pride in May.
One of the new youth volunteers, Finlay Barnett, from Carradale, said he may become a police officer when he leaves school and the PSYV gives him excellent experience in the field.
CI Bailey, who praised PC Cairns’ enthusiasm, commitment and drive, presented certificates to the four new recruits – Nancy McKenzie, Finlay Barnett, Murray McCallum and Thomas Dickson – who passed the 12-week training programme.
She said all the youngsters did ‘absolutely spectacularly’ and described their drill as ‘first class’.
PC Cairns then presented the following prizes: leadership award to Samuel Davies for his honesty and integrity, and being a good communicator, showing commitment and decision-making capabilities; commitment award to Iona Campbell for being reliable, taking her duties seriously and inspiring others; youth volunteer of the year award to Brodie MacLaren for going above and beyond for the group, and showing she is reliable, capable and willing; community volunteer of the year award, donated by the Kintyre Crime Prevention Panel, to Krystal Allen for also going above and beyond the average duties and taking on other jobs within the community; and adult volunteer of the year award to Aileen Morris, for her dedication, never missing an event or training night since the group founded in 2017.
PC Cairns added: ‘Every one of our youths brings something unique to the group so I feel it is important to recognise each one.’
She paid tribute to the remaining youth volunteers – ‘cheeky chappy’ Jordan Todd, ‘bubbly and enthusiastic’ Ashley McAulay, and ‘caring and compassionate’ Sheena Thomas.