AS a young person who is also a carer, a mother, the First Minister’s mentee, and a Year of Young 2018 Ambassador, 2018 is very important to me.

It is Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 – a year focused on what young people want. It will show everyone that young people have many roles to play, and the stereotypes which I too often hear (“addicted to their phones”, “selfish” and “lazy”) will disappear.

Too often young people are told they will never amount to anything – especially young parents. My hope for 2018 is that every young person living in Scotland is encouraged to use their voice and speak up. We hear, but do we truly listen? There are some amazing ideas and talents hidden away in our young people. Listen, encourage and empower them, and soon you will see them.

Could you imagine a world where every child believed in themselves? I can. Some may say that is an unrealistic hope, but then again so was being mentored by the First Minister, and look at me now.

Being given the support and confidence to able to use my voice has changed my life. Imagine giving other young people a chance to do the same.

Charlotte Liddell (age 20)