YOUTH charity Y Sort It are growing up - and marked the occasion with an 18th birthday party last week.

Staff, volunteers, families, politicians and youngsters were on hand at Clydebank Town Hall to celebrate their work in the community.

Provost William Hendrie gave a special presentation to Y Sort It, young people sang, and there was a disco to ensure a proper 18th birthday bash.

Gillian Kirkwood, Y Sort It manager, told the well-wishers: “It’s not about buildings – it’s people that have made Y Sort It.

“It’s something special. And I know it’s made a difference. The services we provide are vital to the community.

“This is a total night for celebration. The staff who have worked at Y Sort It have gone above and beyond.”

Provost Hendrie said: “Over the years I have seen first hand the work the group has done. Staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly and it is a space by young people, for young people. You should always be very proud.”

Jason Smith, 22, is one of many young people to have turned their lives around thanks to the support from Y Sort It and he is now a youth worker there himself.

Jay told the Post: “You can take my example - they gave me a chance and got me on my feet and supported me.

“Mine is a big success story. I’m seeing it first hand - Y Sort It has made a big difference to a lot of people.

“The biggest reward you can get is changing someone’s life.”

Michelle-Dominique Bell, 21, chairwoman of Y Sort It, has been involved at the charity for 10 years and said it’s changed her life.

She said: “I was not one to care about people or the community, and over the years I got involved more. It was quite an eye opener and now I’m more welcoming than I was before.

“It’s helped me with my confidence. You’re inspiring others to build a life and push themselves and try to have a better life, not just say, ‘It’s Clydebank’.”

Kirsty Wilson, 25, got involved early on with the charity and returned on Friday to help them celebrate.

Now working as a nurse, she said: “I think I would be a completely different person without Y Sort It. Gillian is like a second mother.

“I’m a nurse thanks to them pushing me forward. Y Sort It has made the town a better place - they have helped a lot of lives.” It’s thousands of people.