A DUNFERMLINE mum who lost her teenage son just a year ago has won an award for mentoring.

Despite going through the most heartbreaking period of her life, Ashley King has continued to help vulnerable young people.

She was rewarded for her contributions at the Scottish Mentoring Network Awards in Edinburgh, winning 'Mentor of the Year'.

Ashley, 42, a mum of two, began mentoring for Intandem in 2017 and as well as working as a carer while studying nursing full-time at university, she still always made time for her mentoring.

But, in November last year, the mum lost her 17-year-old son Ethan in a car accident on the Standing Stane Road near Kirkcaldy.

Intandem expected not to see Ashley again but after just a few months, the dedicated mum wanted to return and help to mentor again.

Ashley told the Press: "Meeting up with my mentee gave me a reason to go out each week.

"It's great to see someone growing and knowing that you are making a difference.

"Ethan passed away a year ago and I've not been able to get back to work.

"I started back as a student nurse in September but that hasn't really worked out, so apart from family life, Intandem is really the only focus in my life right now."

The grief of losing Ethan is still extremely raw for Ashley, and her family are still in the middle of court proceedings surrounding the accident.

Ashley added: "I want to be a role model for my other son as well as my mentee so it's important that I get out of the house.

"So I did take a break for a while but I decided I wanted to come back.

"I see my mentee one or two hours a week and my role is to encourage and support them.

"It's important they have a positive role model not just within services such as social work or a teacher.

"We normally go for a coffee or some food, just a chance to chat and see what their goals are and what they are working towards.

"It's challenging and I definitely enjoy it.

"I did not know I was nominated until just the week before so when I was told I had won I just didn't realise how big it was.

"It was quite overwhelming.

"It's hard for me to go out of the house and my anxiety is quite bad so being able to commit to going out just for an hour or two during the week has kept me focused.

"I would encourage anyone to get involved."

Intandem mentoring is funded by the Scottish Government, supported by Inspiring Scotland and delivered across Fife by Kirkcaldy YMCA.

It is a mentoring service for young people aged eight to 14 who are looked after at home.

Linda Watson, programme manager, said: "Ashley is the most dedicated, caring and compassionate person I have ever known who always puts others before herself.

"She deserves to be recognised and rewarded for the commitment and support she offers young people on Intandem in Fife, even in the face of such devastating personal life events."

If you would like to be a mentor, call Linda on 01592 645537 or email Intandem@ymcakirkcaldy.co.uk