AN inspirational young scientist has received a personal letter from the Prime Minister to congratulate her on winning a top volunteering award.

Mhairi McCann, from Inverkip, is fast making a name for herself as one of the country's top young scientists.

The Tele reported earlier this year how the Inverclyde teenager had been appointed as the first Scottish chief editor of an international scientific publication.

Now she has won the Points of Light award - which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

In a personal letter sent to Mhairi, Prime Minister Theresa May praised her leadership in the field of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Mrs May said: "Your passion for science and volunteering is developing new opportunities for young people to participate in STEM subjects.

"By sharing your experiences with leading societies, research centres, and academic journals, you are helping the next generation of scientists

to access STEM resources and have their work acknowledged and celebrated."

The 19-year-old from Inverkip, a former pupil at St Columba’s High in Gourock, says she was shocked to receive the award.

She said: "I am totally surprised and really humbled to receive this award.

"I had no idea I had been nominated.

"I started volunteering because I wanted to help others and give back to the community, and it quickly became something I got a lot out of and really enjoyed.

"I’m really grateful for the opportunities I’ve had through volunteering and I will continue to just try my best to do my bit, as the greatest reward is always seeing how you’ve helped make a positive difference for others.”

Mhairi, who is the chief editor of the internationally renowned Young Scientists Journal, was presented with her award at the #iwillWeek event held at Kew Gardens by Lord Gardiner.