Young Scots can be an inspiration

THE very week of Fordyce's cheap jibes at our young people (Insight, 18 July), I had the privilege of witnessing over 600 receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

These are youngsters from all backgrounds who will have given literally tens of thousands of hours as volunteers in their communities, will have learned new skills, will have endured the hardship of gruelling expeditions and who have those vital ingredients - stickability and team work.

Had Fordyce been at Holyrood he would have heard stories that give us real inspiration and hope as a nation. At any one time in Scotland, over 23,000 youngsters are involved with the Award, all from a variety of backgrounds, even in Prisons and Young Offender Institutions. These and many others may not have had the sort of lead in life that Fordyce would have expected, but they do fill me with hope for the future. So Fordyce, please take up a challenge. Spend some time with young Scots who are completing the Award, and see if that can help you be a bit more positive about our future.

Bruce Robertson, chairman, Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Scotland