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Nairn brothers named joint youth volunteer of the year for work with Highland mental health charity Mikeysline

By Erin Miller

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

Two brothers have been jointly rewarded for their significant fundraising contribution for Mikeysline and their role in helping to set up mental health support in local schools.

The Highland Third Sector Interface Award’s youth volunteer of the year is typically presented to one successful candidate from across the Highlands.

This year the award was given to both Callum and Ross Kinaird after they received a joint nomination for their combined efforts to help the mental health charity.

Mikeysline chief executive Emily Stokes said: “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.”

Callum and Ross have now left school but want to continue their efforts by becoming community volunteers in their hometown.

This would involve them having a larger presence in the local community with their work focused on improving the availability of mental health support services.

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."

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.”

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