Amy Cowan's story
16 June 2015
Amy, 17, lives in Irvine and has undertaken a variety of local volunteering roles, including the Youth Council, the Ayrshire Youth Arts Network, the Girl Guides and Young Scot.
Through the Youth Council, Amy has been able to give the young people of North Ayrshire a voice by meeting with local councillors to discuss and debate relevant youth issues as well as put forward the questions that need answered. She is also part of a 'deciding funding' panel for local arts programmes with The Youth Arts Network, which has also given her skills in business and finance. She currently volunteers with Young Scot (TAG), where she is part of a focus group which gives participating organisations advice on how best to engage with younger generations.
"I've always had a passion for helping people and have volunteered here and there throughout my life. Volunteering has shaped who I am as a person and what I stand for.
"I began volunteering in the Girl Guides - I've been a member since I was 5. A friend introduced me to other volunteering and from there door after door opened for me. Volunteering is now part of my everyday life. If I’m not busy in school, I’m busy in my local council or even nationally.
"It’s shaped who I am as a person and what I stand for. I entered a world I didn’t know existed. I'm not happy unless I’m busy and know that somehow I'm helping other people. I want to volunteer as making a difference to another person, no matter how small, is amazing. I strive to do things for others and that's what makes me happy!
"I know in the future my volunteering will be limited due to university and adult life but I'll always be open to volunteering when I can.
"Through volunteering I gained heaps of confidence and even discovered new interests and met amazing people. I've done many things I never imagined, such as:
- attending vote counts,
- being interviewed by the Scottish Government,
- weekends away,
- attending the Young Scot Awards etc.
"I didn’t know what to expect when I got further into my most recent volunteering at Young Scot. There are so many amazing opportunities I wasn’t even aware of."
"I don’t really discuss volunteering with many of my friends as I guess you have to be interested in it to listen. I have one friend who joins most of my volunteering adventures and without her many of these amazing opportunities wouldn't be possible.
"My main message to any young person considering volunteering would be to go for it!"