Former  Marymass Mary Chloe Robertson seized the spotlight last May when she became the youngest-elected councillor in Ayrshire.

And last summer she was appointed North Ayrshire Council’s young people’s champion.

This week she looked back on her first year on the frontline and recalled how she got there.

Who helped influence her arrival in politics?

“My role model has to be Nicola Sturgeon,” she said. “I  was a working-class girl growing up in Irvine. She has broken the glass ceiling. 

“Nicola came from Irvine and lived here all her life. I’ve always been interested in politics and have always liked her. 

“She is an amazing politician. It’s a huge loss for our party that she stepped down as First Minister.”

“Marie Burns, the council leader, works with other parties but also puts her foot down to say this is what she wants and our groups want, she is very passionate “

Mary’s preparation for the limelight came when she became involved in politics at school.

She recalled: “I  was a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament and got in at 17. I always thought I would go to university and do politics and that being an elected official would be some time in the future, but I was asked to stand and was delighted to accept.

“I didn’t think I would be a councillor this young but I have loved every minute of it. Being a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament helped me understand the council process. 

“I thought when I became a councillor, everyone would talk down to me as I did not know anything because of my age, but that has been a contrast to what I thought and that is from every political party.

“Everyone has been really respectful, including the people who work at North Ayrshire.”

She is particularly relishing getting stuck into her role as young people’s champion - in which she represents the views of, and promotes causes important to, many of her contemporares.

“I have worked a lot with youth services in my role,” she said. “The new Irvine youth legacy centre is a welcoming place for young people to go into. It’s about creating a space for young people.”

But there are challenges, too.

“Every weekend young people take drugs and think it’s not an addiction," she said, "but it is a problem.

“Hopefully we can put out the message that taking drugs every weekend is not a good time, it goes deeper than that.

“There is so much more behind someone who is an addict, including the likes of mental health problems.”

Another drawback is reading unwelcome comments about herself online.

She said: “The job is not the difficult part, but social media is horrible - including political attacks.

“That has been the hardest part of my job. I tell my friends and family they can switch off but when I go on, I see what people are saying.

“As a young person it’s hard to switch off as I’ve always used social media.”

However, there have been major high points.

She said: “Highlights are helping constituents with cost of energy problems. I have also managed to get someone on the list for solar panels for their house – I was really proud of that as cost-of-living problems are rife.

“Hopefully I can also be involved in supporting new Scots and refugees who come here for  various different reasons.

“Time has flown in and I am really lucky to be working with a great team.”