Work of the Scottish Youth Parliament

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Friends, It has been a little over a year since I took post as MSYP (Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament) for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, and I thought to write.

The role of MSYP is to understand your collective thought on issues of national importance and then to represent this at the Scottish Youth Parliament.

My first task was to understand the national issues about which you most core.

Since May 2013 I met young people from Uist and Barra visiting the Holyrood buildings, and participated in workshops at the Lewis and Harris and at the Uist and Barra Youth Conferences.

I visited the Nicolson Institute in June and, as always, I have been accessible through various online media.

One issue that has been highlighted of importance is that of young carers, who may suffer educational and financial hardship from the demands of caring for a dependent relative whilst in school or further education.

Therefore, I supported the successful motion to make Care.Fair.Share the first National Campaign of 2014.

From the efforts of many young and not so young, the Scottish Government have committed to new legislation to support carers.

Other areas of interest include transportation, where SYP have backed greater subsidisation of transport for young people; efforts to alleviate youth poverty have included a successful motion to repeal the bedroom tax.

Finally, a call for two up-and-able volunteers to represent Na h-Eileanan an Iar at SYP for two years’ from June 2015.

Nominations for MSYP candidates are now open. To access the ‘Expression of Interest Forms’ and for more information about standing as an MSYP please visit the Scottish Youth Parliament website or contact Community Learning and Development on 01851 822714.

Applications can be received until 31st October 2014.

In January, I will leave for Zimbabwe to teach with the Free Presbyterian mission.

My replacements should be aged between 14-25, want to raise the voice of local young people, be committed and, ideally, living full-time in the Western Isles. If you are such a person, visit www.syp.org.uk to find out more.

Pictured above is the recent sitting of the Scottish Youth Parliament in Shetland.