Hi everyone,I’m back again with my 3rd Vice Chair update. There is a lot to update you on as so much has happened over the last 5-6 weeks. The referendum has been and gone, the Scottish Youth Parliament’s 55th National Sitting has happened, and the X Factor live shows have started. It’s coming up to the October break, so I hope everyone enjoys their week off, but if you’re like me, who doesn’t get that break, don’t worry, it’s only 10 weeks until Christmas.
It’s been two weeks since we all met in Perth for SYP55, and I think you will agree it was a fantastic weekend and so much happened. The highlights for me were talking to John Swinney MSP about Liam Neeson, and announcing tackling child and youth poverty as the 2015 SYP National Campaign. Continuing the Twitter buzz, I’ve spoken to some MSYPs to see what they had to say about the weekend:
- Louise Dunnin MSYP said the best thing about the weekend was completing the ‘What it means to be an MSYP’ jigsaw and seeing it all completed.
- John Thain MSYP said his best bit was not crying during the child and youth poverty campaign debate.
- Rhiordan Langan-Fortune said the new Members’ Motions structure was so much better.
I have been really busy nationally over the last month or so, especially during the referendum week when I took part in three live TV appearances, which was a great experience. During that week, I also attended the national referendum count in Ingliston with the Edinburgh MSYPs, and I was extremely proud to be representing SYP and the young people of Scotland on such a historic occasion. Into the beginning of October, I attended the Cross Party Group on Children and Young People where the group spoke about providing more support for kinship carers, and finally, last weekend, I went to the BYC North East Convention in Newcastle with 8 MYPs.
I’ve got some exciting news for all from the 2nd Board meeting which took place on Friday 3rd October 2014. All seven of us were assigned a regional portfolio. I am pleased to announce they are as follows:
- Louise Cameron MSYP – Mid Scotland and Fife and Highlands and Islands
- Terri Smith MSYP – Lothian
- Rachael McCully MSYP – Central Scotland
- Sian Hughes MSYP – South of Scotland
- David McLaughlin MSYP – Glasgow
- Nairn McDonald MSYP – West of Scotland
- David Stewart MSYP – North East Scotland
Now for a wee message from our very own Chair, Louise Cameron, in regards to what the regional portfolios mean: “We felt it was important to improve the communication and to distribute opportunities and we felt the introduction of regional portfolios would improve this. Also, we can get to know the skills of MSYPs and ensure they can have an easy way of contacting the board.”If you are unsure of where your constituency/local authority fits into this, just send me an email at email@example.com and I will send you in the right direction.
I carried out all my consultation work for the SYP55 Members’ Motions and campaign selection, and I was really pleased over 100 young people took part in this. I have been busy meeting with young people in schools and promoting the SYP elections, as well as making contact with my local MSP Malcolm Chisholm, who I will be meeting with this week. Finally, in my local area, I did some last minute work on the “Make Your Mark” consultation, and I was delighted to hear Edinburgh achieved a 7% increase from last year.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra” – Jimmy Johnson
I must say MSYPs, this month, I was inundated with jokes and there was so many good ones so I’ve decided to start a wee competition. The best jokes from the following groups are:
Best MSYP Jokes
- Rachael McCully MSYP – A man walks into a kilt shop. “I’d like to buy a kilt please, do you have Dunlop tartan?” “I’m sorry.” Replied the kilt maker, “You’ll have to get McIntyre instead.” “Why’s that?” “Because everyone knows that Dunlops have been McIntyres for years.”
- Colleen Brown MSYP – Why did the bike have to lie down? Because it was two tired.
Best Conveners Joke
- Joshua McCormich MSYP – Knock Knock. Who’s there? Obama! Obama who? OOO BAA MAA SSEELLFF.
Best Procedures Group Joke
- Kirsty McCahill MSYP – I met a girl at the vegetarian club. She said she knew me, but I’d never met herbivore.
Board Members Joke
- Sian Hughes MSYP – what did the vegetables say at the garden party? Lettuce turnip the beet.
I’ve loved hearing about all your work. As always, it’s great to see you all still engaged as we come to the end of our terms. I just wanted to firstly start off by saying a massive well done to all the MSYPs who presented Members Motions’ and proposed the campaign topics at the Sitting, you all did a fabulous job and should be proud of yourselves.
My main shoutouts this month go to:
- Struan King MSYP – who has been working incredibly hard in his local area, especially with Aberdeen Youth Council with regards to his city hosting the Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Matthew W. Barzun, on Friday 17th October 2014.
- Megan Lukins MSYP – who also worked extremely hard to support the Aberdeen youth engagement event.
- Martyna Napiereska MSYP – who was successfully elected as UKYP PG for Scotland.
- Junaid Ashraf MSYP – congratulations of being selected as Scotland’s debate lead for the UKYP House of Commons debate next month.
Mini Staff Interview
After some consultation with you all, and by popular demand, I would like to introduce the first mini staff interview for the Vice Chair Update.
Q1. If you were a sandwich what would you be and why?
This question does not surprise me. Thanks for putting me on the spot MSYPs! If I were a sandwich, I’d be a ‘Philly Cheese Steak’sandwich. I have no personal traits that match this sandwich (although I could say my jokes are sometimes cheesy). My choice is mainly down to my travels in America, where the sandwich was essentially my lunch for a few days when visiting Philadelphia. Ifanyone gets the chance to go to Philadelphia, make sure the ‘Philly Cheese Steak’ is first on your list!
Q2. What does your role at SYP entail?
As part of the Youth Engagement Team, I deliver a range of engagement and training sessions based on all of the work the organisation undertakes. This involves travelling around Scotland to spread the word about SYP and increasing awareness of why politics is relevant to young people. To add a little bit of Youth Engagement promotion here – as always, we are here to support you with any events or sessions you may have, so please do get in touch.
Q3. What is the best thing about working at SYP?
One of the standouts has to be the Sittings where I get to catch up with all the MSYPs.
Q4. If you were to describe MSYPs in three key words, what would they be?
Charismatic, radical, and enthusiastic.
I would just like to thank Calum for taking part in the first interview. Keep an eye out for next month’s edition, where I will interview another staff member – so remember to get your questions in.
I have really enjoyed writing the Vice Chair Update this month and I hope you all enjoy reading it. As always, keep up the hard work and don’t forget to send any questions, queries or banter my way.
Terri Smith MSYP
Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament