Student teacher Freya Riley was celebrated as one of Scotland’s 'local heroes' at the official opening of Parliament on Saturday.

She was able to meet up finally with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who kept a promise to catch up with Freya in person and thank her after a special phone call last year.

The 18-year-old, from Kelty, was invited to Holyrood by her local MSP, Annabelle Ewing.

Freya put herself forward as a Kindness Volunteer with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland during the first lockdown in 2020. Since then, she has been providing a lifeline of support for pensioner Chris Smith, 70, a fellow Fifer who lives alone in Springfield.

She said: “I was honoured to be asked by Annabelle to attend the opening ceremony on Saturday. I love volunteering with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

"I get my greatest joy out of knowing I’m making someone else happy. It’s amazing the opportunities it’s given me on top of helping others.

“It was great to finally meet Nicola Sturgeon after our call last year; I can’t wait to tell Chris all about it!

“I have anxiety, so calling Chris for a chat distracts me from being worried about other things. He’s like my adopted grandad. All of my grandparents have passed away except for my nanny, who is in Wales, so it’s good to have someone older to talk to."

Ms Ewing, MSP for Cowdenbeath, said: “It’s amazing to see the support and kindness that has flourished in our communities during what has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone.

"Freya has been an inspiration throughout the pandemic. Right at the start of lockdown, she decided to volunteer her time every week to help people in her community and she has been a lifeline to Chris, who would have otherwise been on his own."