Aberdeenshire’s Youth Voice Matters Aberdeenshire June 2018 Issue 2
This newsletter aims to keep you up to date with youth engagement, action and representation in Aberdeenshire. Updates are provided by youth practitioners and our members of the Scottish Youth Parliament, Year of Young People (YoYP18) Ambassadors, Aberdeenshire Youth Forum, Community Youth Platforms and Specific Youth Issue/Interest Groups.
Contents include updates from
- Year of Young People YOYP2018 Signature Events
- Aberdeenshire Youth Forum
- Aberdeenshire MSYPs
- YOYP Ambassadors
- Specific Interest Groups
- Pupil Participation Forum
- Young People’s Participation & Campaigning Group (YPOC)
- Gypsy traveller representative Davie Donaldson
- Banchory Skatepark Crew
- LGBTQ+ Groups
- Community Youth Platforms (CYPs)
- North Aberdeenshire Youth Platforms
- Banff Youth Platform
- Huntly Youth Platform
- Insch Youth Platform
- Fraserburgh Youth Platform
- Turriff Youth Platform
- Peterhead Youth Platform
- Mintlaw Youth Platform
- Central Platforms
- Alford Youth Platform
- Inverurie & Port Elphinstone Youth Platforms
- Meldrum Youth Platform
- Ellon Youth Action Group
- Kemnay Youth Platform
- South Aberdeenshire Youth Platforms
- Stonehaven Youth Platform
- Portlethen Youth Platform
- Aboyne Youth Platform
- Mearns Youth Platform
- Aberdeenshire Youth Bank
- Aberdeenshire Shadow Youth Management Team
- Inspiring Aberdeenshire Award Ceremony
Year of Young People #YOYP2018 Signature Events
From April – June, there have been 3 YOYP2018 Signature events. One in Tarves, one in Laurencekirk and one in Inverurie.
Celebrating 20 years of Tarves Hut was our third #yoyp2018 event of the year which took place on a beautiful sunny day on the 26th May at Tarves Primary School. The local yoyp2018 ambassadors and young people who meet up in the hut organised the event and ensured that there were plenty of activities for young people to have fun.
One parent said, “This is a fantastic community event, my children have had a blast, there are so many things to see and do. What a great atmosphere”
One young person in P6 said “I’m really excited about coming along to the Hut after the school holidays. It’s really cool and it looks like fun”
The Mearns Mental Health and Wellbeing event took place on the 14th June. It was an informative and engaging evening organised by local #yoyp2018 ambassadors, the Mearns Youth Forum and local MSYP Lauren McGill. They invited several organisations who provided information and resources to support young people and their parents on matters relating to mental health. At the event young people delivered presentations and a film produced by the forum highlighted exam stress and techniques and advice by young people to manage their anxieties. Emma Cameron was the keynote speaker and she engaged the audience in conversation and awareness of mental health and wellbeing.
Comments and feedback by those in attendance including parents and teachers was very positive.
The Garioch Mind Your Health event took place on the 26th June with 109 Young People from Inverurie, Port Elphinstone, Hatton of Fintray, Old Meldrum, Ellon, Kemnay, Insch, Alford, Turriff, Kintore, Aboyne, Banchory, Mearns, Tarves and Blackburn in attendance. As well as healthy food options and activities, young people had the opportunity to take part in workshops provided by the NHS, ADP and Kemnay Youth Platform on Mental Health, Pharmacies and Smoking cessation, Sexual Health and Alcohol and Drugs Information. Feedback was very positive.
Aberdeenshire Youth Forum AYF
On Saturday the 28th April twenty-one #yoyp2018 ambassadors and supporters met at Garioch community centre and spent the morning participating in a conversation café on drugs and alcohol. Their views will be shared with the GIRFEC Thematic subgroup on substance misuse.
|In the afternoon, the group visited Haddo estate and met with the Visitors Services Officer to explore the site for the Big Mash-Up festival and make decisions about the location of the various activities planned for the event. With good weather on our side, we enjoyed a picnic on the grounds of the estate.
At the beginning of June, on a hot and sunny day the group met with Young Scot and Transport Scotland to participate in a co-design session on transport issues which will inform the National Transport Strategy for Scotland. Despite the heat, the young people contributed a great deal in looking to the future of transport.
In the afternoon, we discussed the application for Aberdeenshire Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing project and two young people participated in short films to endorse the funding application. The group also focused on identifying volunteer roles for the Big YOYP2018 Signature MASH Up event.
The YOYP Big Meet-Up – 2nd June 2018
Aberdeenshire MSYPs attended the 65th National Sitting and 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Youth Parliament on 9th and 10th June in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway. At this Sitting, MSYPs selected public transport as the organisation’s new national campaign. Watch this space for updates on the campaign in Aberdeenshire.
Emma Holmes MSYP has already started asking young people about the problems they face travelling locally and plans on releasing an online survey to determine the areas to be focused on for the campaign.
Following a consultation in her local area, Lauren McGill MSYP found that mental health issues were a top priority for young people. As part of her work in the Mearns Youth Forum, the group recently organised a mental health and well-being awareness evening. The event took place on 14th June and saw parents attend workshops from charities and presentations from the forum. The aim of this evening was to highlight the support available for young people experiencing mental health issues. This was a huge success and feedback was very positive.
In early June, Josh MacRae MSYP and Sasha Brydon MSYP were returned as Community Councillors for Inverurie and Kemnay, respectively. On 18th June, Josh was elected as the new Chair of Inverurie Community Council, the youngest recorded in Aberdeenshire and, potentially, Scotland.
Josh and Sasha were involved in planning meetings (chaired by Sasha) for the Central Aberdeenshire YOYP event, Mind Your Health, which was held in Inverurie on 26th June. Both MSYPs also attended the Shadow Management Team meeting prior to the Mind Your Health event.
Some of Lauren’s constituents informed her of their concerns regarding a route to school. At night, some areas are not illuminated and some young people found it intimidating to walk through them in the dark evenings. She has written to a local councillor to investigate the situation, in the hope that some action will be taken to install street lights.
Sasha recently took up his duties as the new Member of the Youth Parliament for North East Scotland, representing Aberdeenshire’s young people at a UK level. On 23rd June, he attended a British Youth Council Convention in Glasgow, with fellow Scottish MYPs, to find out more about the relationship between various youth voice organisations across the country.
After summer, Lauren plans to speak to constituents about the current project of the SYP Justice Committee. She’d like to ask young people for their thoughts on drugs education and how it can be improved.
From left to right: Josh MacRae MSYP, Emma Holmes MSYP, Lauren McGill MSYP, Evie Robertson MSYP, Sasha Brydon MSYP, Dyana Cioffi MSYP.
YoYP Ambassadors 2018
The Mearns YoYP Ambassadors supported the Mearns Youth Forum with their “Mental Health and Wellbeing in Young People awareness evening” and Tihanna White delivered a fantastic presentation on what Year of the Young People 2018 is about and how it links with the MYF’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Campaign.
They also collaborated with the Mearns Community Library to organise and deliver an Author event for Young people within Mearns. They looked over various author profiles and choose a female, Scottish writer, Claire McFall, to come along to Mearns Academy to deliver a book reading and take part in a Q & A session about creative writing and her published books.
Jane Lawson was the master of ceremony for the event which was relaxed but very informative with young people actively taking part in the Q & A session.
It was well attended by senior pupils from Mearns Academy who had the opportunity to meet with the Author after the event for more information about becoming a writer.
Pupil Participation Forum
The PPF have continued with a number of different projects. We have completed our Mental Wellbeing Survey which will be distributed to secondary schools in September. The results of this will inform the Wellbeing resource we produce. We have also begun early collaboration on awareness raising with Dementia Friendly Aberdeenshire.
Our end of year event was at Lochter and for some of the PPF this was their last meeting as they prepared to move on to college, jobs or university. We will be recruiting new members at the start of the new school session to return the PPF to a full complement of four representatives per secondary school.
Young People’s Participation & Campaigning Group (YPOC)
We are the YPOC group and we are a group of Looked After Children or care experienced young people aged between 12 years and up. There are around 10 to 12 of us who meet monthly at Inverurie Family Centre and discuss what is important to us and how to make things better for Looked After Children across Aberdeenshire. This year we are working on a new campaign which is all about what it’s like coming into care and what could be better and also what people can do to help us when we have to move placements. We have sent out questionnaires to all looked after children in Aberdeenshire aged 8 upwards about their experiences too and we are making a Guide about what has gone well, not so well and what we need when we come into care.
Some members took part in a Twilight event with our Corporate Parents this month. A few of us from the YPOC group met with representatives from Housing, Reporters, Children’s Homes, Through Care and After care, Police and many more of our Corporate Parents to begin a conversation of what they do for Looked After Children, what we would like them to do differently and they all made a pledge to us about what they would do to make things better for us. We are going to meet up with them again this year to see what they have done.
Please have a look at our previous campaigns using the link below https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/children-and-families/children-s-rights-service/
Gypsy Travellers Representative
The last couple of months have been+ super for Youth voice across the country! As the representative for young Gypsy/Travellers on Aberdeenshire Youth Council I have been working with young people to ensure they feel they can have their voices heard.
May saw me meet with the Government Ministerial working group to discuss educational improvements for young Gypsy/Travellers. We discussed modern apprenticeships and access to college, as well as the need for basic literacy and numeracy for families on the road. I continued my work with Childline on inclusivity, leading a UK wide cultural awareness training with councillors and base managers.
I had the privilege of meeting with the UN rapporteur on racism to raise awareness of the racism and discrimination which blocks opportunities, and propagates unfair treatment for young Gypsies, Roma and Travellers.
The Scottish Government invited me to share my story at the 5th gathering of the directorate. An opportunity I took up at once! Although it felt really awkward to have loads of people gathered to hear my life story, like I was someone of note, I was glad to have the chance to let them know about the struggles I have faced because of my ethnicity and prejudice.
I supported members of the newly formed Gypsy Traveller Youth Assembly (GTYA) to attend a Government debate on Gypsy/Travellers at Holyrood. Encouraging a couple of members to share their experience and feelings online after the debate. It was their first time at Parliament and a great opportunity for them to see democracy in action!
May also saw me work with Aberdeen University’s Elphinstone institute, to create a programme called ‘Tobar an’ Keir’, which translates from the Cant (Scottish Traveller Language) to Road and house, or in other words at home on the road. The programme supported community members, including young people and children from Clinterty site, to raise awareness of Traveller culture. This was a first and hailed as a ‘landmark event’ for the Scottish Traveller community.
As usual I had heaps of meetings in Edinburgh. One that I was really happy about securing was with the head of Young Scot. We spoke about inclusivity for Gypsy and Traveller young people, including access to YoungScot cards and digital platforms. This was an area that young Travellers had raised as a difficulty for them without a fixed address.
I also met with BBC Scotland in Glasgow to discuss opportunities for young Gypsies and Travellers in the media industry. I also discussed how we as young Gypsy/Travellers can support the media to better understand the impact that negative shows like ‘My big fat gypsy wedding’ can have on our community.
In June, like many other young Gypsies and Travellers, I went to England to attend Appleby Horsefair – the largest annual gathering of Gypsies and Travellers in Europe! I worked with activists from across the UK to tell young Travellers at the fair the importance of standing up to racism and prejudice.
June was really busy as it was the first Gypsy, Roma, Traveller History month to be endorsed by the Scottish Government. I organised a conference based on intersectionality and the importance of alliances in challenging racism. Through this I supported young Travellers from across Scotland to attend a series of discussions and hear the testimony of Raymond Gureme. This was Raymond’s first time in the UK and it was a privilege to hear him share his story of resistance and experience as a survivor of the Holocaust.
I took part in a national panel discussion with other young Travellers and Gypsies to share our experiences and opinions on change. Furthermore I organised and hosted a concert of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists; young and old from across the UK.
However, I am a big believer in grassroots change and that not everything can be changed on a national level. So, I also spent some time on local activism and representation. To do this I began with one of my firm beliefs: ‘Change always starts with the young’. Where best to find the young but at an assembly at Mearns Academy? I spoke to students about my life as a Scottish Traveller, gave them the chance to ask questions and break stereotypes of the Traveller community.
You’re as young as you feel right? So, I continued my ‘Change starts with the young’ by accepting an invitation to speak to service workers from across Aberdeenshire council about Traveller culture and how they can help challenge the ‘last acceptable racism’ within their roles.
June also saw a meeting of the Shadow Youth management team. I raised the importance of young people being consulted in all planning processes, and the added importance of council’s ensuring they think about diversity of communities when making ‘community’ buildings.
A brilliant feeling to see directors of the council take on our suggestions and discuss with us as equal stakeholders and partners!
Finally, June saw me meet with Police Scotland to discuss the worries of young Gypsy/Travellers about how the Police react to instances of hate crime and instances of stereotyping and racial profiling of young men.
Loads of strong youth voices taking the stage and standing up for their communities! It’s certainly shaping up to be a #Braw year for Youth representation – long may it continue!
Banchory Skatepark Crew ran a well-attended Skate Jam at the skatepark on Saturday 30th June which has helped raise awareness of their project. The group also attended the recent Marr Ward Forum on 20th June and successfully facilitated a discussion on their group. Year of Young People Ambassadors from the Banchory area also facilitated a discussion on their group
Meldrum LGBTQ+ Group
The Meldrum LGBTQ+ group have been working on a piece to be included in the National Pride House Legacy Quilt which will be displayed in various schools around Scotland. Hopefully it will be displayed in Meldrum Academy at some time in the future.
To find out more, contact Tracey.Christie@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or call 01467 539468
Community Youth Platforms
North Aberdeenshire Youth Platforms
Banff Youth Platform meet on Thursday from 3pm to 4.30pm at Banff Academy. The group are currently making a film on the effects of bullying.
Huntly Youth Platform meet on a Thursday from 4pm to 6pm at The Linden Centre, Huntly. They are currently forming their group and coming up with ideas about what to do after the summer. Members of Huntly Youth Platform attended the Marr Area Youth Ward Forum on 20th June.
Insch Youth Platform meet on a Tuesday evening from 7pm to 9pm at the Community Centre. They continue to be involved with community initiatives and were involved in the “Mind Youth Health” event in Inverurie
Fraserburgh Youth Platform meet on a Wednesday 6:30 to 8pm at The JIC Building. They are currently forming the group and exploring the things that are important to them in their community.
Turriff Youth Platform
Are continuing to plan their YOYP Event in November and will be working alongside young people from Banff and Huntly as well to deliver the event. The group are contacting local businesses to find out ways that they can support the event. The group will meet briefly in the summer and will actively be looking for new members when the school returns after summer.
TDJ – Have participated in 6 local events in the past quarter ranging from pre-school events to a transition disco at Turriff Academy. The group will work closely with the YOYP event in Turriff to support.
Peterhead Youth Platform
Our group continue to take place on a Monday/Wednesday lunch, after school on a Wednesday and LGBT group on a Thursday lunch. The group have been meeting and discussing topics of interest to them and how they’d like to see and make changes in their community.
The most recent topic was period Poverty and the group hopes to fund raise by arranging a cookie sale and sponsored walk, times/dates to be agreed.
As part of the summer programme staff in Peterhead plan to do some detached work over the summer to reach out to the young people and find out what they would like to see happening in their community and to encourage more young people to attend sessions.
Mintlaw Youth Platform have carried out a consultation. The issues raised by pupils earlier have been discussed and categorised as to how they could be addressed, and by whom.
The information has been transferred to power point by the boys with a view to giving a presentation at assemblies after the holidays to inform pupils and hopefully recruit new group members.
Central Aberdeenshire Youth Platforms
Alford Youth Platform
Two members re engaged with the mental health resource boxes following some time out with exams. Both attended the Marr Ward Forum on 20th June 2018 to show case the mental health and wellbeing resource boxes. They spoke confidently in front of a large number of community members, council officials and councillors. They received positive feedback on the project.
Next steps identified by them are to design canvas bags, that have been purchased, so that smaller items from the boxes can be delivered to groups or individuals, making it less obvious that people are using the resources and easier to handle.
They are going to do some peer education work with a group that meets at a lunchtime and with the S1 drop in.
They are hoping to engage with the school more and look at providing a space for resources to be handed out and where a display of artwork, poetry, etc on people’s thoughts on mental health can be displayed.
There are some original members of the groups who seem keen to come back to the platform in the new term and an individual member has attended the Aberdeenshire youth forum planning event for the Big Mash up with another who has completed a year of youth bank and the relevant training. She attended the Marr ward Forum on 2oth June 2018 and spoke about the process and plans to engage with the youth bank this year.
Inverurie Youth Platform
This term the young people have been busy organising the Mind your health event for the year of the young people that attracted 109 young people from all over the Shire to attend. The youth people made sure that everyone knew where they were going and that they had signed up to the workshops on offer.
Port Elphinstone Youth Platform
The young people had a meeting with their MSYP Josh MacRae to discuss their plans for the future in the Port area. The young people have been involved in team building activities, attended Mind Your Health event and completed Hi5 awards.
Meldrum Youth Forum
The youth forum will be helping out with healthy smoothies and mock tails at a yoyp2018 youth event in June and have had a lot of fun choosing & creating the recipes. Over the summer holidays they will be working on a peer education project for the new S1’s.
Ellon Youth Action Group
Over the last few months we have created a new youth platform with a more focussed direction – YIP – Youth Info Platform. Our young people have created an agenda looking at local issues and ways to engage young people to come together and discuss ideas for immersing themselves into their community. They feel there is a barrier between young and old and want to create a positive reputation in their local area. We have started planning an intergenerational piece of work and hopefully this will be a major focus for YIP in the new school term.
We created a ‘Take a Break’ drop in café for the duration of study leave, whereby young people aged 16-18 were encouraged to drop in to chat informally after their exam, or to touch base in between exams. This facility acted as a catalyst for young people who have not used our service before, to engage with new peers and youth workers and to sign up to new groups after the summer holidays.
We have had some great input from our S1/S2’s around the subject of transition, and formed a new peer education group. As part of our S1 transition work, our new Peer Ed’s were involved in the delivery of our presentation to the new S1’s and showed great enthusiasm and encouragement towards them as they discussed their fears and anxieties about going from Primary to Secondary. This was a great learning opportunity for both the new S1’s and the new S2’s.
We are also in the early stages of planning and hosting a #YOYP18 cultural event later in the year, contributing to the already amazing events celebrating young people that have already taken part. Our young people are very excited about this as they enjoyed being a small part in the planning for the last central event.
Kemnay Youth Voice
In the last 3 months KYVM has achieved a lot. We has designed our own logo and had the logo printed on hoodies which also have our names on them. The logo looks amazing and we have had a lot of positive comments about it.
Another big part of the last three months has been planning a mental health/mindfulness workshop which we will deliver at several local events. The first of which was the ‘Mind Your Health’ event at the Garioch Community Centre on the 26th June, as part of the #YOYP event programme. Everyone really enjoyed the whole event, and delivering the workshop. We got a lot of positive feedback from participants.
We have been keen to customise our space at the Hut at Kemnay Academy and make it our own. So far we have put up a Dream Tree and bunting with positive and inspirational comments from young people and workers. As part of a ‘getting to know our community’ activity we walked around our local area and took photos of place we like which will go onto canvases for the walls.
Two of our members have taken a keen interest in being part of the Shadow Youth Cabinet and Aberdeenshire Youth Forum meetings that have been taking place. We want to encourage new members to join the group so that other young people get the opportunity to take part and contribute their ideas to help make the local community a better place for everyone.
South Aberdeenshire Youth Platforms
Stonehaven Youth Platform
Stonehaven Youth Platform have been planning a fundraiser. In the new term, they are hosting a bake sale in the school break time to raise funds to support Dementia Friendly Discos in their school Library.
Some of the young people also attended a Youth Bank meeting where they engaged with peers and increased their knowledge and understanding about the nature and purpose of Youth Bank.
Portlethen Youth Platform
Portlethen Youth Platform have been developing a plan of various topics that they would like to explore and discuss. There is a wide variety of young people attending, with twenty nine different young people attending one of the weekly meetings this quarter. Representatives have attended the Aberdeenshire Youth Bank meeting
Aboyne Youth Platform came together with other Youth Platforms across Marr to successfully facilitate a World Café event for community planning partners and organisations. The event demonstrated young people’s social commitment and enabled them to express themselves and promote their groups within the wider community. Aboyne youth platform focus was on their community consultation Pop up Café exercise regarding their community café idea. Aboyne young people presented to the audience their findings from the consultation.
They also attended the recent Marr Ward Forum on 20th June and successfully facilitated a discussion on their group. Year of Young People Ambassadors and Youth Bank Representatives from the Aboyne area also facilitated discussions on these topics and Year of Young People Ambassadors from Aboyne and Banchory have met to plan their YOYP Deeside Youth Event.
Mearns Youth Forum (MYF) have been busy planning and delivering their Mental Health and Wellbeing Campaign over the past few months:
The first part was delivered during the 5 week Exam period within Mearns Academy called “Food For Thought”. They organised a display table with information leaflets, free wristbands, stress balls, keyrings, balloons and pens. Posters were displayed around the school highlighting the importance of good study habits, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and drinking fresh water. They also gained funding to provide all those sitting exams with a bottle of water going into the exam and a fruit pot/piece of cake for after the exam. The event proved popular with young people accessing the water and refreshments throughout the full 5 weeks.
School teaching staff and exam invigilators congratulated the MYF members on this campaign with enquiries if it would be available again next year.
The second part of the MYF Health and Wellbeing Campaign was the signature event “Health and Wellbeing in Young People Awareness Evening”. The young people not only organised the event but delivered presentations during the evening. Workshops and stalls included The SPARK – Resilience, Childline – Mental Health issues in young people, Mearns Academy PSW – Parenting in the digital world, Active Schools – Importance of Healthy Lifestyles, Relax kids – Chill Skills and SAMH – Support available for young people/parents. There was a great attendance from the local community with comments such as “Lovely evening, well organised and professionally delivered”, “Very informative and thought provoking”. Refreshments supplied by MacPhies also went down a treat. The Forum have been asked if they will run a similar event again next year with suggestions of allowing more time so people can attend more workshops.
The MYF spent the last few meetings bringing evaluations together and having a fun debating session. They also said farewell to members who will be moving onto University after the summer break. The MYF will now be on a break until August 2018 when they plan to do a recruitment drive and begin plans for the AGM as well as the next set of projects.
|Details of all Youth Platforms|
|North Aberdeenshire Youth Platforms|
|Platform||Meeting details||Contact details|
01467 539048 or 07766 293893
Tel 07585 127559
or call 01467 536753
or call 01467 537115
Tel 01467 535479
Wednesday 3- 4:30pm
Tel 01467 539031
Tel 01467 539307
|Central Aberdeenshire Youth Platform|
Tel 01467 539307
Tel 01467 539550
|Karen.Hudson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk or call 01467 534770|
Tel 01467 539468
|Westhill||Lilimar.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01467 537501.|
|South Aberdeenshire Youth Platforms|
3.30 – 5pm
Tel 01467 537501
Tel 01467 535663
Tel 01467 536780 or 07748 180786
7pm – 9pm
Tel 01467 537389
The Library at Mackie Academy
Tel 01467 533296
Aberdeenshire Youth Bank
Aberdeenshire Youth Bank recruitment meeting was held on Thursday the 21st of June with new young people joining the project (8 young people) also some existing members coming back with a role of Peer Educators (6 young people). The training dates are set for 30-08-18 and 06-09-18 at Woodhill House from 5:00pm to 7:00pm.
Aberdeenshire Shadow Youth Management Team
The Shadow Youth management Team met three times in June.
They met on the 12th of June to review the previous meeting and again on the 19th June to prepare for the SYMT meeting with Directors and the Chief Executive of Aberdeenshire Council. On the 26th June, members of the SYMT met with the Senior Management Team at Inverurie Academy and engaged in an interactive session focusing on youth involvement in Place design and planning using the Peterhead Masterplan as an example.
Inspiring Aberdeenshire Award Ceremony
Members of The Hut, Tarves attended the Inspiring Aberdeenshire ceremony at Haddo house on 15th June and were presented with a finalist award after being nominated for the Community Spirit category.
Well done to all of the young people.
Youth Voice Matters Aberdeenshire would like to thank all those individuals who have shown support to Aberdeenshire’s youth representatives and #yoyp2018 ambassadors over the period, by coming along and getting involved or contributing to the newsletter, such as Laura Stewart – Children’s Rights S.W. and Christine McLennan – Education Support Officer, Education and