A Tayside student is taking on the Kiltwalk in the latest volunteer effort she has squeezed into a busy lockdown year.
Gemma Wallace is set to graduate from Dundee University after completing a four-year psychology degree.
But the 22-year-old has found time among final-year exam preparations to volunteer with city charity Eighteen and Under, and fit an NHS test and trace role into her schedule.
Eighteen and Under was established in 1994, and provides information and support to young people who have been abused in any way.
Its tailored and confidential help has continued throughout the pandemic.
Gemma is among a group of 18U volunteers taking on the Kiltwalk this month to raise money for a leaking roof at the charity’s Victoria Road premises in the hope the building issued can be repaired in time for face-to-face support re-starting.
Student Gemma found the charity during research based around her studies.
She said the help 18U offers and the inspiring work of founder Dr Laurie Matthew were the drivers in getting involved.
“I want to get into forensic psychology and am really interested in working with victims and survivors of crime,” said Gemma.
“I saw Eighteen and Under advertised and really liked the idea of what the charity does to help young people.”
Gemma said the pandemic had presented new opportunities to deliver its vital work.
“They have had an online form for some time, and there is a chat that people can go on 24/7,” she added.
“You can post music, message people and there is also a private chat available.
“It’s a very close-knit community and I think it really helps the young people having that place to go to.
“I haven’t met many of the other volunteers face to face because of the pandemic, but I don’t feel that has been an issue at all.”
She said: “We’ve one volunteer who is actually in Germany so it has shown that the things we have been doing are the way to go.
“We don’t get any funding so every penny is important.
“A property above us had a leak and when it was really bad rain around Christmas time the water was just pouring through.
“We have a kitchen, kid’s play area, reading room and other rooms there so it is an important place for the people we help.
“We’re doing the walk so that we can hopefully have money there for when it is fixed if we need to pay a contribution towards the repairs.”
Other 18U Kiltwalkers include Laurie Matthew, Sandra McCourt and her retired guide dog, Jason, Ianthe Johnson and her children, Keegan, Michaela and Kassie, and Caroline Cassidy.
Gemma added: “I’ve only actually met one of the other Eighteen and Under volunteers but that hasn’t been an issue at all because of the way things have been done through Zoom and so on.
“I started volunteering for quite a few places during the pandemic and it has been nice to be part of little communities helping each other.”
18U can also count on Gemma’s continuing support into the future.
“I’m applying for a Masters so I don’t know where that might take me, but I plan to continue volunteering for them.”