The teenage volunteer up for community award

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The teenage volunteer up for community award

It’s the battle bus that all the party leaders were keen to jump on. FM Nicola Sturgeon, Tory leader Ruth Davidson and Greens chief Patrick Harvie put differences aside to board the Young Scot bus outside the Scottish Parliament.

Inside, they met some of the country’s most inspiring youngsters, past winners of the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards and young ambassadors, all celebrating 2018 as the Year of Young People.

The bus, in association with Scottish Citylink, has been travelling around the country collecting nominations for the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards on November 30.

The leaders were joined on the coach by Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh and MSP Ben McPherson.

The bus will be at the Clyde Auditorium on May 31 and the Diverse CiTay Festival, Perth, on June 23.

Leaders Sturgeon, Davidson and Harvie meet youngsters outside Scottish Parliament.

Sturgeon said: “All the Young Scot Award past winners have powerful stories. It was a pleasure to meet some of them.”

Davidson said: “It was great to speak with some remarkable young people.”

Here, Heather Greenaway reports on one schoolgirl who is up for a community award.

When floods threaten her home town, schoolgirl Arianna-Marie McCulloch rushes to the harbour and helps put up barriers to stop water engulfing houses and businesses.

The 15-year-old, a member of the Eyemouth Response Team, is ready to spring into action when warnings are issued for the Berwickshire fishing town.

As well as grappling with flood gates and distributing sandbags, Arianna-Marie live-streams updates to residents in emergencies.

The teenager’s bad weather heroics are just one of the many reasons the Eyemouth High School pupil has become the toast of her community,clocking up more than 200 hours of voluntary service.

From collecting supplies for her local food bank and raising thousands for charity through coffee mornings to teaching 300 kids first aid, the youngster is a local hero.

Arianna-Marie, whose devotion to Eyemouth has earned her a Young Scot nomination in the community category, says she just can’t imagine life without volunteering.

She said: “I love Eyemouth and want to do as much as I can for my incredible community.

“The town is in constant risk of flooding, especially during winter. I joined the Eyemouth Response Team a couple of years ago.

“I have helped out during several floods and will be on hand whenever Sepa issue their next warning.

“In January, we managed to get flood gates erected at the harbour in just 20 minutes.

We also help with sandbagging and closing off roads.

I do social media for the group and post regular updates.

I was also in action in March when Eyemouth was battered by the Beast from the East. We shovelled snow.”

Arianna-Marie, who is a member of the Lothian & Borders Army Cadet Force, is a keen supporter of her local food bank.

She said: “I have been encouraging pupils in my school to bring in donations by running a competition.”

Arianna-Marie, who wants to join the Army, is also a champion fundraiser.

Gale Coates, of the Eyemouth & District Community Trust, said: “Arianna-Marie’s kindness is amazing. She is so inspiring”

The Categories

Young Hero – sponsored by Co-op Food

Community – sponsored by the Scottish Government

Volunteering

Unsung Hero – sponsored by Solace Scotland

Year of Young People 2018 Champion of the Year

Excellence in Education – sponsored by University of St Andrews

Enhancing Education – sponsored by Skills Development Scotland

Sporting – sponsored by sportscotland

Health and Wellbeing – sponsored by Active Scotland Division

Equality and Diversity – sponsored by Standard Life Aberdeen

The Arts – sponsored by Creative Scotland

Entertainment – sponsored by Scottish Citylink

Environment – sponsored by QMS

Enterprise – sponsored by HSBC

To nominate in the 2018 Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards please click here.

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