SCOTLAND’S Year of Young People came to an end on December 31 – and those very people have been looking back at how they made their mark in Helensburgh and Lomond in 2018.

The area’s Youth Forum has just enjoyed a fantastic year, with ventures and activities designed to give youngsters a voice in their community.

Giving a recent presentation to the Helensburgh and Lomond Community Planning Group, members outlined what has been going on over the last 12 months.

These include giving first aid lessons to spectators as young as four who were attending the European Championships in Glasgow this summer.

Since that meeting, the young people have taken part in other events, such as the Wee Sleep Out in support of the homeless, and the Big Conversation, with Argyll and Bute Councillors.

Stephanie Thomas told the meeting at Cove Burgh Hall: “Save a Life Scotland was something we did a lot on. We went to the European Championships and offered to teach people how to do life-saving skills.

“We taught people as young as four how to do CPR, practicing on a teddy bear. It gave people an opportunity to take the lead and learn.

“We also ended up establishing links with the Scottish Ambulance Service and the Red Cross.

“The forum takes part in a lot of activities. We attend community council meetings every month and take part in council activities and consultations – including the budget.

“We have our residential training to come, where S1 and S2 pupils go away for the night to let them get to know other young people from across Argyll and Bute.”

The meeting also heard how the forum has held events which recognise the positive activities of youngsters in Helensburgh and beyond.

Aubrey Agub said: “We started the Argyll and Bute awards, which recognise achievements from all over Argyll and Bute.

“This was held in the Victoria Halls, with a total of 10 awards available, such as unsung hero and volunteer of the year.

“The ceremony was attended by people from all over Argyll and Bute, with some travelling from as far as Campbeltown.

“In February we organised and took part in a ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ event, where random members of the public do kind things for each other.

“It was designed to show that being kind doesn’t have to mean doing anything big. You just need to help them by holding the door or telling them you appreciate them.

“This year, three young people trained as young leaders. It is important within youth services because it gives you a bit more responsibility.

“This includes helping out during the summer programme and taking training on a residential trip.”

And of course, there has also been time for plenty of fun activities amongst the serious stuff of the past 12 months.

Alex Bates said: “The GIVE summer programme happens every year over the summer, with reward points being exchanged for days out.

“It is a great opportunity for young people to gain new skills, and they recently received their awards for doing so.

“We have also spent eight days teaching 14 visitors from Germany what Argyll and Bute is all about. We will be making the return trip next summer. We learned a bit of German in the process and got along well with our visitors.

“We celebrated Friday, September 14, which was National Quiet Day, by giving up our phones and technology items for 24 hours. This raised money for Helensburgh Youth Forum.”