You may not have noticed but 2018 is quite a special year. In Scotland, this is for one specific reason – it is a whole year dedicated to celebrating the young people of Scotland and what they bring to our society.
In some ways, it’s a celebration which is hugely important. When the Year of Young People was first proposed by former first minister, Alex Salmond, in 2014, young people were increasingly finding themselves on the edge of society. Large numbers of them were unable to find work or a training programme after school. It looked like society had forgotten about them. What better way, then, to remind that they that they are valued, than a year-long celebration of the many ways in which young people contribute to our society.
The year is organised around six themes: culture, education, enterprise and regeneration, equality and discrimination, health and wellbeing, and participation. National events have included a chance for 100 young people to put their issues to the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, in a question-time debate; the Oran Mor festival in Inverness, which celebrated the contribution of over 1,000 young people to Gaelic music; and a campaign to get young people involved in ‘the wee sleep out’ as part of social enterprise, Social Bite’s mission to end homelessness.
The opportunities for young people to take part are many and varied. But they do not need to be restricted to just this year. Go For It has been helping youth projects get off the ground for a good number of years. A previous post here has mentioned the Ayr Ark, an alcohol-free youth nightclub, with the aim of giving young people somewhere safe to go at night. Other projects include the Formartine Youth Project in Aberdeenshire, which helps young people to grow both as individuals but also within their faith; and the Gateways project in the Borders, which aims to allow young families the chance to engage with their faith.
All of these projects, and the many others who are working tirelessly in their communities, are vital in showing Scotland’s young people that they are cared about and valued. That they have a place within our society – and a lot to contribute to it.
We often hear it said that
our young people are our country’s future. They’re not. They’re our present and we must value them as such
Minister at Glasgow: Eastwood
Former Go For It Committee Member
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