Mikeysline duo awarded Highland youth volunteer of the year award

Callum (left) and Ross Kinaird representing Mikeysline at the recent Nairn Highland Games.

CALLUM and Ross Kinaird, who volunteer with mental health charity Mikeysline, have been named as joint winners of the Highland Third Sector Interface Award’s youth volunteer of the year. 

The award, which is commonly presented to one successful candidate from the Highlands, has this year been awarded to both Callum and Ross, after they received a joint nomination for their combined efforts as volunteers.

Callum said: “When I found out that I won this award, I was shocked and didn’t really think it was for me. It made me question what I had done so well to deserve it! I was truly humbled to receive the news that I had won this award and to be recognised for all my hard work at Mikeysline, which I am really proud to be a part of.”

Ross added: “I was so overwhelmed and surprised by the nomination for this award, it’s amazing that doing something that I am so passionate about can be so rewarding! I can’t wait to continue my progression with Mikeysline with the fantastic support that they provide.

“If you are thinking about volunteering for Mikeysline, then what are you waiting for? Visit www.mikeysline.co.uk for details on how to join.” 

Emily Stokes, chief executive officer of Mikeysline explained: “When it came to nominating Callum and Ross, it didn’t feel right to separate them. 

“Having both joined us in the summer of 2021, the boys – then pupils at Nairn Academy – were instrumental in setting up our youth champion programme across local Highland schools. 

“With a passion to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention, as well as contributing to developing a solution to support more young people in the region, the boys were integral to the design and implementation of our youth champion programme which today boasts 94 secondary youth champions and 19 primary youth champions.”

Despite having now left school, Callum and Ross are keen to continue their volunteer journey by becoming community volunteers in their hometown of Nairn. This would see them play a larger role in the local community where they are keen to improve the availability of mental health support services.

Mhairi Wylie, chief officer of Highland Third Sector Interface, said: “This is always a challenging category to judge as organisations benefit from such a high quality of volunteering commitment and impact from young people across Highland. Callum and Ross are exemplary young people in a field of truly committed individuals showing leadership and passion throughout all their activities.    

“This award is about celebrating the exemplary contribution that recipients make as young volunteers and the judging panel was particularly interested in how Callum and Ross have been driven by their desire to make a change and build a more positive future. 

“Their voluntary role with mental health charity, Mikeysline, has clearly made a difference to the organisation and their community. Their hard work and dedication are a credit to them and Mikeysline.”

Since 2015, Mikeysline has offered confidential, non-judgemental support to people of all ages with mental health issues or in emotional distress in the Highlands and Moray via a text line service at 07786 207755, WhatsApp on 01463 729000, as well as via live chat, Twitter and Messenger. The charity also offers face-to-face support from four Hives across the area – at its Inverness headquarters, and in Tain, Alness and Nairn. 

For more information about the charity, visit www.mikeysline.co.uk – or find Mikeysline on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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