Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a very enjoyable festive period, and are raring to go and get stuck into things in 2015.
Unfortunately for me, all the good telly has stopped, so there’s no more predicting who’s going to win the X Factor. I could go on about Big Brother, but I’ll save you the pain.
This year marks SYP’s 16th year, and many of us only have 5 months left of our term as MSYPs. With this in mind, I ask you all to remember why you first stood for election, and reignite that passion and dedication. With the launch of our new national campaign, this is a perfect platform for MSYPs to leave a lasting legacy. You’ve already done that with Care.Fair.Share., and that deserves a massive well done. We’ve created a long standing tradition of standing up for some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in Scotland, and I believe 2015 will be full of successful achievements.
What has your Vice Chair been up to?
January is always a very quiet period. However, there have been a few going-ons I’ve been involved in. At the start of the year, I wrote an article for the Campaign for Scottish Home Rule website about the importance of keeping young people involved in the devolution of further powers to Scotland. I had the privilege of selecting MSYPs to attend the Belfast exchange in mid-February, and I want to say well done to all those who applied; the standard of applications was exceptional. Last week along with many other MSYPs, I attended SYP’s assessment from the Investors in Young People, and fingers crossed we impressed the assessors. Recently, I also had the privilege of questioning the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP, on lowering the voting age to 16. Keep an eye on this week’s SYP News for more on this. Finally, last but by no means least, I attended the launch of our 2015 national campaign, POVERTY: See It Change It. Once again, I am delighted to support and promote a campaign that stands up for the most vulnerable people in society. Remember to download the campaign toolkit here. You can also watch a short clip from Nairn McDonald MSYP explaining the contents of the POVERTY: See It Change It campaign toolkit here.
Again, another fairly quiet start to the year locally, but I have used this time to finalise my candidacy in the #SYPElex, and most importantly, I’ve been promoting the upcoming elections to schools, colleges, universities, and youth groups within Edinburgh. Finally, I wrote to all the Edinburgh Councillors and my local MSP to update them on the achievements of Care.Fair.Share., and to thank them for their support. Many of those whom I have sent letters to have replied congratulating us all for our efforts, and they can’t wait to hear about what we do with our new campaign.
“It’s important to give it all you have while you have the chance” – Shania Twain
Thanks for the jokes. I hope 2015 is filled with fun and laughter for you all.
Best MSYP joke
James Goodwin MSYP – I tried to take a photo of the fog the other day but I mist.
Martyna Napiereska MSYP – Why did the mushroom go to the party? Because he was a fungi. But why didn’t they let him in? Because there wasn’t mushroom.
Best Procedures Group joke
Rhiannon Carroll MSYP – My friend thinks he’s smart. He told me the only food that can make you cry is an onion, so I threw a coconut at him.
Best Board joke
Rachael McCully MSYP – Why does Peter Pan always fly? Because he neverlands. I love that joke because it never gets old. It’s got a nice hook.
It’s been a great start to the year, with many of you getting stuck right in to the work of SYP. My main shoutouts this month go to:
Nicole Dempster MSYP – Nicole’s dedication and enthusiasm is exceptional and she continually impresses me with the work she does locally, and particularly the work she does as the Convener of Jobs and Economy Committee. Keep up the great work.
Eilidh Dolan MSYP – Congratulations to Eilidh Dolan MSYP who recently became Chairwoman of Glasgow Youth Council. I wish you and your colleagues a successful year.
Gary Paterson MSYP and Nancy Russell MSYP – Both Gary and Nancy are Scotland’s representatives at the UK Youth Ambassadors, and they continue to do a great job at representing us all nationally and internationally. You can get involved in their latest survey seeking your views here.
Both Nairn McDonald MSYP and I would like to give a shout out to all the Conveners for their all hard work, and also to Martyna Napiereska MSYP and Ehsan Salim MSYP for stepping in to attend the last Conveners Group meeting in their role as Deputy Conveners.
David McLaughlin – It is with sadness we announce the resignation of David McLaughlin as a Trustee. Louise would like to thank him on behalf of the entire Board and Membership for all his time and efforts as a Trustee, and would like to wish him the best for his future.
Mini Staff Interview
The first staff interview of 2015 is with Steph Brown who’s been SYP’s Communications Officer since November 2013.
1.) What does your job as the Communications Officer at SYP involve?
As the Communications Officer at SYP, I plan and implement communications strategies to promote all of the amazing work that MSYPs do. This involves issuing press releases, facilitating interviews, supporting MSYPs to write articles and blogs, working with designers to produce promotional materials, etc. I’m also responsible for our internal communications, including SYP News, and I manage SYP’s social media accounts.
2.) Why is Musselburgh better than anywhere else in Scotland?
Musselburgh is actually a pretty interesting place. ‘Mussy’, as it is commonly known, is a coastal town with its own fair share of iconic landmarks and quirky traits that make it unique. Here are some facts about my home town:
- Musselburgh is an Honest Town, and every year it hosts its own festival where an honest lad and lass are crowned. The festivals are organised by the Honest Town Association (HTA).
- One of Musselburgh’s golf courses is recognised as the oldest in the world. It is claimed that Mary Queen of Scots played here in 1567.
- Musselburgh has its own songs, including a local anthem about Musselburgh being a burgh before Edinburgh.
- By 1690 Musselburgh had a larger population than Leith, with a high proportion employed in the area’s woollen mills and coal mines.
- Musselburgh Racecourse has some of the best racing events in the UK.
- Musselburgh offers a range of dining options. My personal favourite is The Caprice, which is an amazing Italian restaurant. Top tip: if it’s your Birthday, you dine for free!
- Although Musselburgh has everything you could ever need, Edinburgh is only a 7 minute train journey away.
3.) If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
This is a really tough question, but I reckon I’d choose the power of teleportation. I could go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
4.) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
If I could go to any place, I would love to go back to Alice Springs and visit the Camel Cup again. It’s a hilarious racing event with camels instead of horses. Unlike in horse racing, the camels just do whatever they want, and so they end up running the wrong way down the track, stopping mid-race, and just generally being chaotic. There are also water fights, helicopter trips, face-painting, and loads of food stalls. It’s amazing.
I would also love to go to a World Cup final. So, Ideally a World Cup held in Alice Springs, sponsored by the Camel Cup.
I asked MSYPs what their wishes and resolutions were for 2015, and I would like to share the following with you:
David Stewart MSYP wishes our new campaign raises awareness of the issues faced by those in poverty.
Robbie Nicoll MSYP wants to take every opportunity possible and enjoy every moment.
Nairn McDonald MSYP wishes to see the youth electorate continually engaged, and he wants to leave his position in a place stronger than he found it.
Thomas Mair MSYP wishes to continue to work for SYP and make definitive change for Scotland’s young people.
Nicole Dempster MSYP’s resolution is to be more spontaneous; so far she’s eaten an avocado! Nicole also wishes for lots of people to get involved in #SYPElex.
Ciaran Davidson MSYP wishes for one last big energetic debate, and to go out with a bang.
Whatever your wishes and resolutions are, I wish you a very happy and prosperous year!
Reminders – Don’t forget to order your SYP leavers hoodie. You can order them here. If you have any problems, get in contact with Melissa Gorman MSYP.
You can get involved in the next Vice Chair update here.
I look forward to updating you all again in February, but until then if you have any questions, queries, or of course banter, get in touch!
Terri Smith MSYP
Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament