Aberdeenshire’s young people leave inspiring legacy

Young people and invited dignitaries marked youth achievements during the Year of Young People (#YOYP2018) in Aberdeenshire at a legacy event at Meldrum Academy on Friday, February 22.

Those attending enjoyed showcases of the young people’s accomplishments over the last year, as well as a series of performances, presentations and an opportunity to find out more about youth services in Aberdeenshire.

Year of Young People events and activities were showcased in a film clip, and guests were also given the opportunity to see and hear all 52 ‘Youth Voices’ recordings. Youth Voices gave young people the opportunity to tell the world what matters most to them and explain by podcast, vodcast or in writing what it is like to be young in Aberdeenshire.

The winning entries in a creative competition covering three age categories from 8 right up to 25 were also announced. Young people were invited to answer the question: ‘If young people had the power to make Scotland a country for young people, what would that look like?’ in music, film, poetry or through creative writing.

Some of Aberdeenshire’s most outstanding young people were also invited to present or perform at the event. Holly Aiken (17) from Banchory Academy who was a finalist in The Voice Kids UK in 2018 performed ‘This is Me’ from The Greatest Showman while Ellie Clark (16) from Meldrum Academy sang ‘Thursday’ by Jess Glynn. Josh Daniel Fowlie (14) from Mintlaw Academy whose involvement in Aberdeenshire’s Youth Music Initiative means one of his own songs ‘Circus’ is now featured on CD performed this for the crowd. Clara Gray (17) from Aboyne Academy gave a presentation on her experiences as a human rights defender at a national as well as European level, and Josh MacRae (16) from Inverurie Academy shared some of his insights as a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Aberdeenshire East.

The group were also keen to add some rainbow magic to the event in support of LGBT History Month and offered coloured bands to attendees as well as tweeting #purplemap far and wide in support of Purple Friday. They were delighted to turn Aberdeenshire’s map purple – recognising our commitment to standing against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia – by participating in this campaign.

Cllr Gillian Owen, chair of the Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee commented: “It has been a real privilege to observe first hand the talents, achievements, energy and enthusiasm of young people from across Aberdeenshire.

“We are working to ensure young people continue to be heard long after the Year of Young People – through the Children and Young People’s Charter, through regular discussion with our young representatives and by continuing to explore new ways to engage with young people in the future.

“I’d like to congratulate all of those involved in pulling together another great event, and would especially like to commend all of those young people involved who have found their voice and are continuing to encourage their peers to do the same.”

Vice chair councillor Mark Findlater added: “The enthusiasm of such an informed and engaged group of young people is infectious. Their legacy is just that – their enthusiasm is inspiring their younger peers as well as reminding communities across Aberdeenshire just how valuable the contributions and input of young people can be.”

For more information about the Year of Young People in Aberdeenshire please click here and for more information about the Aberdeenshire Youth Voices please click here.

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