#IWill ambassador Mhairi McCann, aged 19, writes on how she became an #IWill Ambassador, the barriers she faced and why it’s important to celebrate young volunteers. Mhairi became an #IWill Ambassador in 2018 for her volunteering commitment to Scottish SPCA, Eco-Schools, Fairtrade and Rights Respecting. Re-Route & YOYP2018. You can find out more about Mhairi’s volunteering journey here.

“I will highlight that it doesn’t matter what your interests or background are, you can get involved with social action and make a positive difference!” (Mhairi’s #IWill pledge, 2018)

I read about the opportunity to be an #iwill Ambassador on the Young Scot website a couple of years ago, and at the time it sounded like a good opportunity.  Initially though, I didn’t apply, because I’d seen what amazing work other ambassadors were doing and wasn’t confident enough to give it a go.  Last summer, realising both that I was getting close to the age limit and that I didn’t really have anything to lose by applying, I decided to submit an application and was really pleased when I found out I’d be able to build on my social action as an #iwill ambassador!

The main volunteering I’m doing at the minute is through Young Scientists Journal, an international scientific journal that’s both for and by young people aged 12-20- it’s great to work with so many awesome young people from around the world!  I do lots of volunteering though, and other things I’ve been involved in recently have been recording bats, being an anti-doping chaperone at sports events, and doing a project about children’s rights locally.

I love volunteering, and I get a lot out of it.  It’s allowed me to become involved in my local community, meet new people, gain skills and try new things.

Young people make a huge contribution of their time, energy and skills to their communities through social action, and that should definitely be celebrated!  I think that Power of Youth Day helps flip the (often negative!) narrative, by showing both what young people are capable of, and the positive things that many of us are doing.  

Volunteers Week Scot runs from 1 – 7 June 2019 – find out more!