SOME of Scotland's most famous and successful people including author Irvine Welsh and astrophysicist Catherine Heymans are backing a social media campaign to help young people achieve their dreams.


The Twitter and Facebook drive by the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Young Academy of Scotland asks well-known and high-achieving Scots from sport, academia and business, music and other arts as well as people from all backgrounds to offer their "aspirational advice".

The YAS team - set up by the RSE to provide a platform and voice for leading young entrepreneurs, professionals and academics - hopes the campaign will boost people embarking on the road to a career or personal goal.

Welsh, the Trainspotting and Filth writer, was one of the first to take part. He tweeted: "Don't listen to anybody older than 21."

Ms Heymans, a YES member and Edinburgh University dark matter expert, urged young people in one of her tweets: "Don't be afraid to learn a subject you find difficult."

Education consultant Heather "the Weather" Reid tweeted "always be yourself" along with a picture, while sports stars such as Commonwealth Games high jump finalist Jayne Nisbet and boxers Alex Arthur and Craig McEwan are also taking part.

The Young Academy will run tweets until April in the campaign designed to encourage young people to follow up their plans in their chosen field.

Neil McLennan, Young Academy of Scotland co-chair, said: "Many areas of young people's lives benefit from having high aspirations; education, employability, physical and mental health, citizenship and safer and stronger communities.

"What advice made you aim high?

"What advice would you give to raise a young person's aspirations?

"Together, everyone can help lift young people's aspirations and make them happen."

Participants are encouraged to take a picture of themselves holding their message written on a piece of paper.

The photographs should then be posted on Twitter or Facebook along with the hashtag: #AspirationalAdvice and @YoungAcademySco.