Meet Natalie: PSYV in Dundee
We caught up with 17-year-old Natalie, a Police Scotland Youth Volunteer in Dundee. Keep reading to find out more about why she wanted to get involved with PSYV, and what she has learnt from volunteering.
“I have been a member of the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers for over three years, it has been a personal journey of commitment and one crazy adventure. I have had the privilege of meeting many new and truly fantastic people and been involved in completely new and life-changing experiences. I can say with absolute confidence that I have loved every second of it.
“I love volunteering but most importantly, I love how it impacts other people, especially within my community. I love watching how my very own actions can directly affect others and change their lives for the better, and I find that especially at my age of just 17, it is a great honour to witness. In July 2017, I attended an event at Police Scotland Headquarters teaching young girls about PSYV. I really enjoyed being in a position where I had the ability to inspire them and share their excitement. It gave me a better sense of perspective, taking on more of a leadership role and it has vastly improved my communication skills.
“I have also enjoyed being able to challenge the unfair negative stigmas that surround people my age and try to encourage people from other generations to see young people in a more positive light. I love working as part of a team to reach a common goal.
“The impact that being a youth volunteer has had on me as a person has been phenomenal, being a youth volunteer has encouraged me to challenge myself to overcome obstacles that previously would have left me out of my depth, and my confidence has grown as a result of that. The friends and memories I have made will stay with me throughout my life and I know now that I will always reflect back on my time as a youth volunteer with pride and fondness. I am particularly proud of the accomplishments my team PSYV Dunfermline have achieved, winning both the national competition and UK competition. It was a spectacular achievement and it is indescribable how happy and proud it made me feel.
“Becoming a youth volunteer has broadened my horizons and fuelled my ambitions in a way that nothing else has. I look forward to every event because I get the chance to work alongside an amazing team and make a difference to people’s lives. If someone were to ask me to summarise what it is like to be a member of PSYV, I would have to say that it is a lot of fun, the last three years have been an amazing experience, and I look forward to what the future holds.”
The PSYV programme aims to strengthen the relationship with the police and young people, breaking down barriers and promoting positive role models by volunteering at community and national events across Scotland.