A young Irvine modern apprentice and mental health ambassador has been awarded for her work in a Holyrood ceremony.

The now qualified youth worker and former Irvine Royal Academy pupil Caitlyn Houston, 20, was given the West of Scotland Apprenticeship Award in the Scottish Parliament last week on March 8.

She was awarded the prize for her work helping refugees improve their language skills and confidence using skills she learned as a Bee You Ambassador.

Caitlyn said: “I am blown away that I have been selected as the MA stand-out for the West of Scotland, I can’t believe it!

“Although I have worked with so many different residents, I have particularly enjoyed working with the Swans group of New Scots who meet weekly to play football together as I’m able to help the young Syrians to get support on any issues they may be facing as they get used to their new lives here.

“I’ve also really enjoyed assisting with the planning of events such as Y-Dance – a young person’s dance showcase, mountain biking at Eglinton Park and mental health and wellbeing sessions in my role as Bee You Ambassador.

“North Ayrshire Council has offered me so many great opportunities since embarking on the MA Programme and I’m really looking forward to taking the next step in my career now, I’m excited for what the future will hold.”

The ceremony took place as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week and Caitlyn was presented the award by MSP Pam Gosal.

After completing her apprenticeship, Caitlyn has secured a job as a classroom assistant in Castlepark Primary and will do sessional youth work throughout North Ayrshire.

Councillor Tony Gurney, cabinet member for economy and climate change, said: “Caitlyn lives and breathes the council’s priorities to put residents at the heart of what we do to ensure that everyone living in North Ayrshire has the chance to live fairer, happier and more fulfilling lives.

“Her passion, work ethic and ability to go above and beyond for her communities is exactly why Caitlyn is the worthy winner of this year’s West of Scotland Apprenticeship Award.

“Caitlyn should be really proud of all that she has achieved.”

Modern Apprenticeships are aimed at school leavers aged 16-19 and allow them to learn in a practical workplace environment.

Young people interested in a Modern Apprenticeship should visit: www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/jobs-and-training/modern-apprenticeships.aspx.