A teenager is now acting as a spokesman for Hawick’s younger generation after being elected as a community councillor.
Harry Ebdon has been drafted onto Burnfoot Community Council, and at the age of just 16, the Hawick High School pupil is far and away its youngest member.
He admits that he was a little bit daunted when he was first co-opted, but he reckons he’s growing into his new role and is determined to use it to highlight the high level of child poverty in Hawick.
Harry, of Burnfoot Road, said: “My mother, Kaymarie Hughes, does the minutes for the community council, so I was aware of its work and the role of a community councillor.
“I believe that you should get involved in the community in which you live whatever your age and so I decided to apply.”
The teenager, 17 next month, is studying advanced graphic communication, philosophy and business management and personal finance, and he hopes to go on to do a course in ethical hacking at university next year. He added: “I was a little daunted at first because the other members of the council are so much older than me, but I just got on with it and the more times I go, the more comfortable I feel.
“A big concern that I have is the poverty rate in Hawick, which, at something like 25%, is the highest rate in the Borders.
“As well as my role as a councillor, I am also a member of the charity committee at Hawick High School, and I hope to work with the headteacher at Burnfoot School to distribute money for children in need.
“I just hope that I can be useful for the community and make a contribution.
“I would definitely encourage other young people to get involved. Youth opinion is always relevant in society.”
Council chairperson Ann Knight said: “He’s a brilliant helper and adds a lot to our meetings.
“We’re thrilled to bits to have him to give us a more youthful perspective on issues.”
“We realise that we might lose him to university in the future, but we’re happy to have him with us until then.”