Nicole Dempster MSYP – Care.Fair.Share.

June 17th, 2014

It has been a busy few weeks within East Renfrewshire as we have been promoting the Scottish Youth Parliament’s national campaign, Care.Fair.Share.

Firstly, Neil Wood MSYP and I, along with our amazing support worker, Emma Ball, met with Ken Macintosh MSP to discuss the aims of the campaign. We had a great discussion where he gave us advice, asked us questions, and pledged his support to the campaign. It was a hugely successful meeting, and I came away feeling encouraged that he believes in the campaign as passionately as we do. Following our meeting together, Mr Macintosh went on to submit three questions to the Scottish Government. The questions are as follows:

Question S4W-21617: Ken Macintosh, Eastwood, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014

To ask the Scottish Government how it will address anomalies in the administration of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) identified by the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Care.Fair.Share. Campaign that result in many young carers losing their EMA entitlement.

Question S4W-21618: Ken Macintosh, Eastwood, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014

To ask the Scottish Government what additional (a) funding and (b) bursary opportunities it will offer young carers who find it difficult to afford further education due to their caring responsibilities as highlighted by the Scottish Youth Parliament’s Care.Fair.Share. campaign.

Question S4W-21619: Ken Macintosh, Eastwood, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to alleviate the cost of travel for young carers between school, work and home to fulfil their caring and education duties.

In addition to this, Mr Macintosh once again pledged his support to Rhoda Grant MSP’s motion.

Following the success of this meeting, Emma and I attended an event in Eastwood Park Theatre celebrating the first ever National Young Carers Day. The day was filled with amazing testimonies from young carers who completely inspired me by sharing their stories about the work they do on a daily basis. The young carers’ group had created a film highlighting the struggles and challenges they face in their caring role. I then spoke to the audience and shared information about the Scottish Youth Parliament’s campaign. Our pledge board was signed by local councillors (including Provost Carmichael), council officials, young carers, and everyone else who believes that caring should not mean compromise.

After the formal part of the event, we then went on to enjoy a lunch and take part in a range of activities from juggling balloons, to creating our very own super hero young carer, to playing a huge game of zap. Young carers never fail to inspire me, and the success of the event is a testimony to the amazing and talented young carers in East Renfrewshire, who I would like to thank for allowing me to be a part of such a great day.

Nicole Dempster MSYP

The We-CTV Residential – Joshua McCormick MSYP

June 13th, 2014

20140531_192249With the Scottish Youth Parliament’s upcoming launch of the We-CTV competition, the residential weekend was a fantastic opportunity for MSYPs to get involved in the project from the very outset.

The weekend started with an introduction to the We-CTV competition and background discussion from the No Knives Better Lives campaign, which was the main focus of the We-CTV campaign in the past.

The No Knives Better Lives campaign has been a focus of the Scottish Government and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill MSP, and has seen great efforts to raise awareness of the risk of possessing a knife and the impact upon communities exposed to high levels of knife crime.

The We-CTV competition has increased awareness among young people about the risks of carrying a knife. The Scottish Youth Parliament’s launch of the We-CTV competition will see an expanse to the campaign. In the past, young people could only engage by submitting a short clip discussing or acting out the topic of knife crime. Young people will now be able to submit a creative item in three separate categories: art, literary, and multimedia. Furthermore, the topic available for young people to discuss has expanded from knife crime to include a broad range of interpersonal violence related topics such as youth violence, relationship abuse, and bullying.

The residential gave the We-CTV champions an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the competition, the topic of interpersonal violence, and how best to engage young people in the competition. As a We-CTV champion I’m looking forward to engaging young people in the topic of interpersonal violence, and in particular reviewing the literary submissions by young people.

With the expansion of the topic and the way in which to submit a creative item, I hope young people use creative and imaginative ways to express themselves and share their message. In particular, I would like to see those young people opting to create a poetry submission to consider the use of the Scots language. The competition in itself has a great team of young people and staff involved in the promotion and engagement, and is sure to see once again excellent numbers of young people getting involved and feeling engaged. I look forward to what the competition has in store over the next few months, and I look forward to speaking with young people about the competition and their ideas. Check out all the photos from the weekend here.

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Scotland’s Policy Conferences Education Conference

June 12th, 2014

Emma Hendrie’s Speech to Scotland’s Policy Conferences Education Conference – new qualifications and assessments

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First of all I would just like to thank you all for giving me the opportunity to speak on behalf of young people across Scotland on a subject very close to my heart – education. I am here to represent the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP).

We are the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people, providing a platform for young people to discuss the issues they care about and campaign to generate change on these matters.

MSYPs meet three times a year at our National Sittings to discuss and debate policy issues important to our constituents. We also have 10 subject committees, one of which is the Education and Lifelong Learning Subject Committee. For the last year, I have been on this committee and I have enjoyed working to try to improve all aspects of education. Although today, I am going to be focusing on the future of examinations.

School and education is a big part of any young person’s life. Good experiences make for good outcomes which lead to very positive futures and conversely, bad experiences and outcomes can make life after school challenging. As nearly all young people will undertake exams at some point in their education, it is important that they are consulted and informed about major changes to exams that will affect them.

This is why it is my belief that young people should be allowed a say in things that affect them – an opinion shared by 74% of 43,000 respondents of SYP’s youth manifesto “Change the Picture” who believed “Each local authority education committee should include pupil representatives as expert advisers.” From my local experience, there has been a conscious effort to consult young people – with Renfrewshire’s Department of Education setting up focus groups to talk to fourth years undertaking new National courses – making sure Renfrewshire students feel prepared and that their contribution is valued.

Personally, I feel it is important to remember that assessment should meet the needs and requirements of all young people – not all young people are suited to formal traditional examinations. The new examination system must take into account this information.

In Higher Sociology, this year we covered the subject of education – our teacher asked us to devise our dream version of the school system. When we told her our master plans, she told us what we had come up with was not too far off the new National 4 and 5 systems – a more inclusive style of exams based on the importance of skills developed over the year, not just a memory test and a system which takes into account the difference in people’ skills and abilities and adapts to these – if the new courses fit this bill, then in my opinion, it is exactly what is needed.

As a 17 year old entering my 6th year in secondary school, I have just completed my second diet of examinations.  I am the first to admit, as I am sure many of my peers would, that the exam period is one of the most stressful times in my life. Last year sitting my first exams ever I was overwhelmed but when exam structure was explained, then I started to calm down and managed to pull through with eight 1s at standard grade.

The key thing here was the support. Despite the changes in the system, if young people feel they can ask for advice and know they are being heard, I am sure they can excel with these new exams.

The most important thing to take away from this speech is that decision makers need to meaningfully involve and engage young people about issues that affect them to ensure that the needs and of young people – who actually have to sit the exams – are properly taken into account.

From my experience at SYP, if there is meaningful engagement and involvement then it will result in better outcomes for everyone.


Empowering Women Through Conversation – Nicole Dempster MSYP

June 6th, 2014

‘Empowering Women Through Conversation’ is a series of community led conversations aimed at women across East Renfrewshire. The six conversations will take women on a journey through time, exploring the inequalities faced by women in the past and their participation in the democratic process, and the actions which have led to social change for women in the UK. Find out all the details here.

Speaking about the importance of such events Nicole Dempster MSYP said:

“These events aim to bring together women of all ages to inspire discussion in the lead up to the referendum. The events have been designed by a group of women who did not use their vote because they did not recognise the value of their opinion. Each session has a different theme, and has been designed to encourage conversations.

Myself and SYPeer Jessie Ling, along with the women’s library, will facilitate the education session. This is a real opportunity for women to freely chat about why they have the right to vote. We will also hear about the suffragettes and the women’s movement. It is important that all women feel valued within society so that they use their vote.

Everyone’s opinion matters and everyone should be heard. Events like these are hugely important, as they are a fantastic source of information and encourage people to use the vote that they rightly deserve.”

Are there are any exciting events coming up in your local area? Use the SYP website or the Aye Naw Mibbe hub to promote these opportunities to your peers. You can send any details to Stephanie Brown, Communications Officer, at stephanie.b@syp.org.uk.


Why I’m calling on you to use your vote! – By Melissa Gorman MSYP

June 5th, 2014

Melissa Gorman AyeNawMibbe blog photoRecently I went to West Fife Enterprise and delivered an Aye Naw Mibbe session to a group of young people. The main aim of the session was to get people thinking about what voting means to them and why it is so important to use your vote.  This was the first Aye Naw Mibbe session that I have actually run so I was slightly nervous. In my role as Participation Champion for the Aye Naw Mibbe project, I have gone out and talked to the young people in my area in a more informal way, with the core objective of trying to get them registered to vote.  However, in Dundee 97% of young people are already registered and so the next challenge is to actually take the time to ensure they use their voice by casting their vote.

At first, the group were quiet, but once we started the ice breakers, they quickly got involved in the session. Everyone was full of great ideas and shared interesting opinions, not just about silly things such as “would you rather be 3ft tall or 9ft tall?”, but more serious topics and issues. When I asked the group, “what they would change if they were in power for one day?”, one of the participants kept coming back to his answers throughout the session to write more ideas, which was great!

At first, when I mentioned politics, the group didn’t think that it was a really important topic that affected their lives, but after a little discussion and activities, they realised that all the little things they wanted to change is determined by politics.

Half of the young people in the group were already registered and I got two new registrations on the day, which was brilliant.  Some people may be thinking that the one person who didn’t register is a negative thing, but any one young person we get to register to vote is a great result! Any who didn’t register there and then at the time have still been inspired to think about politics and how it affects their daily lives. The seed has been planted, and they will hopefully go on to do more research and register at a later date.

Both the group members and myself went home having learned something new. They learned more about voting in general, as well as the process and how politics affects them. I learned more about their area and the issues that affect them personally. Leaving the group feeling passionate to get involved and vote meant that I had inspired these young people and therefore achieved a great result

I feel very passionately about getting everyone to vote and in particular young people. There are a few main reasons for this. The first is they have been given a voice when they were given the right to vote. In the upcoming referendum it will be the first time 16 and 17 year-olds will be able to vote and make a real difference.

Often young people have many things they want to change, and complain that they can’t do anything about it – this is their opportunity. If you want to affect change, you need to vote.

You cannot vote if you are not registered by the 2nd of September at midnight!

A great challenge we often face with young people is that often they don’t see how politics affects them, but by talking about their priorities and politics you can help make the connection between the issues in their local areas and the bigger picture. By voting for your MP or MSP you can make a start to tackling the issues in your local area.

7 reasons why you as a young person should vote:

  1. You have been giving a voice by being given the right to vote! It’s important you take advantage of that.
  2. If you want to affect change you NEED to vote, change won’t happen if you don’t get involved.
  3. By voting in elections, you help affect change on local and national scales.
  4. No matter how much you think your vote will make no difference, it will!
  5. It’s important to have your voice heard, with turnout often very small each vote counts even more.
  6. You are voting on your future. If you don’t vote and the result is one that you disagree with, you only have yourself to blame.
  7. Most important, each and every one vote can make a big difference and that one vote could be yours!

 


‘Rural Scotland in Focus’ 2014 report launch – Scott Simpson MSYP

June 4th, 2014

Scott Simpson MSYP, Convener of the Transport, Environment and Rural AffairsOn Monday 2nd June 2014, I attended the Scottish Rural College’s (SRUC) ‘Rural Scotland in Focus’ 2014 report launch at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh. The Scottish Youth Parliament’s Transport, Environment and Rural Affairs Subject Committee met with Dr Jane Atterton from the SRUC at the SYP’s 53rd National Sitting in Stirling in March 2014. I was delighted to see that the session with Jane was featured in the report, in which Members highlighted the following points:

  • The sense in which rural issues are often neglected at a Scottish-wide level.
  • Issues surrounding transport as a key short-term issue. Particularly cost, timing and frequency, causing problems with accessing employment, education and other services.
  • The main long-term issue highlighted was access to affordable housing and good quality jobs to encourage young people to stay in or return to rural areas.
  • Cultural and family ties in rural areas are prominent, and are one of the leading reasons for those staying in rural areas, even on a temporary basis.
  • Members acknowledged that recent developments had helped, such as increased provision for education.

The launch event itself was a great experience for me. I spoke to several people from organizations such as Scottish Rural Action, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, and Planning Aid Scotland.

During the Q & A session, which featured authors of the report and Rob Gibson MSP, the Scottish Parliament’s Convener of Rural Affairs, Climate Change and the Environment (RACCE), who is also MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross (my constituency), I was able to ask the question “With the report highlighting the need for a new strategy/vision for rural Scotland, how would the panel recommend that young people be involved?” Mr Gibson answered the question, and highlighted the need for better careers advice for S3/S4 students, mentioning that he is a former guidance teacher.

Going forward, I feel that the best strategy for young people and rural Scotland is for more affordable housing to be made available for young people and for further provision of education in rural areas so they do not feel like the only option is to move away, enabling young people to live and work close to home.

I spoke to Dr Jane Atterton after the event, and I thanked her for coming to our Subject Committee session. Hopefully the SRUC and SYP will work more closely in future when it comes to young people in rural areas.

My Caring Story – Keith Burns

June 4th, 2014

Banner-Signed Final

To be honest, I found it hard to write about how my caring responsibilities have had an effect on me. I think it is because being a carer has been such a large part of my life for so long, that it is difficult for me to detach my caring role from what is deemed a ‘normal’ life. For me I can’t imagine what I would be like if I was not a carer and the person I would be, so I found it hard to assess impact that caring has had on me as a person.

 I think that this shows one of the things about young carers that is so remarkable and that others are amazed by. We can be so nonchalant about our caring responsibilities, as it as part of our norm. We fail to see the impact that we have – whether it be saving the government billions of pounds by each of us essentially doing the job of two, three, or even more trained full time staff; or the impact that we have on the people we care for. For many carers, young and old, the only time that we see this is when we see it in other carers. It is only when we meet other people in similar predicaments that we feel that admiration and sometimes awe that people who are not carers have for us. Yet we often fail to connect the dots and see that we are doing the same thing. This is why I think it is important for us young carers to share our stories, not just to get young carers more recognition and better protection under the law, but to help ourselves see what we do. We need to see it on ink and paper -or on a laptop screen in my case- the impact that caring has on ourselves, how strong and mature we have had to be, how astute we have become and how we develop this nature to not allow anything to knock us down and keep on fighting. Maybe we will also finally have some of that admiration and respect that we have for other young carers for ourselves.

I have been a carer for my mother for the last twelve years and it has not been an easy ride to say the least. When I was eight-years-old, my mother was diagnosed with muscular rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis. This means that she is constantly in pain 24/7 and, as a result, has difficulties moving about, doing physical activities, doing housework, lifting items, bending down to pick up things and so forth. The illnesses that my mum has are degenerative, meaning that they will get worse and worse as she gets older. My mother also suffers from bouts of severe depression as well, and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes just before Christmas.

All this means that I have to be there for my mother both physically and emotionally; doing the housework, going food shopping, and helping my mother with other tasks around the house. I also have to be there for her emotionally and try to help her talk through (or give her help in other ways) issues that might be affecting her mental health. I should have noted that the effects of my mother’s illnesses can vary from day to day; one day she can be great and be up on the move, and then she can be in so much pain that she can barely get out of bed the next day.

The help that I have gained through the government has been non-existent. There has been very little done in getting help for my mum, and any help that we have gained has not been continuous, but in short and very few bursts. Nowadays I receive no help with looking after my mum from the authorities. However, my mum’s best friend and her family have been amazing over the years in giving us any help and support that they can.

As one can expect, my caring roles can make life very strenuous and both mentally and physically tiring, especially when I was at high school. I have received little to no help from the local authorities whatsoever, and had to do it by myself or get help from my mum’s best friend and her family. When my mum had her last bout of depression, they would go food shopping for us while I was at school and would be there to ease some of the strain off my back. The pressure from caring was bundled on to the other pressures that I had at the time: studying, having depression myself (I was diagnosed with seasonal annual depression in my early teens), bullying, feeling like a general outcast and alone, while having to deal with being in the closet. I used to feel jealous of people in my school. I would look at them and see how carefree they were, how they could be themselves and not care, how they seemed to have very few concerns or worries. They had a simple life and good one, not riddled with worry and concern. I often envied their naivety, their joyous outlook on life. They were still in bubble of childhood and were just starting to see the world for what it is. The bubble that, for me, burst a long time ago.

Yet as I look back, I feel proud of myself for getting through all the chaos and having to deal with a sick parent at a young age. I am proud that without being a carer I would not be the person that I am, and that I am still learning life lessons through new problems I encounter as I continue with my caring role.

With all the stresses that have come with being a carer, there have been so many positive things that I have gained from my caring role. My relationship with my mum is great; I am definitely a chip off the old block, and we can talk for hours on end about anything. Yes, we have our disagreements but after we have said our piece, we are talking like normal within five minutes.  Caring has taught me that life owes you nothing and that it will put you in situations that you may feel are unfair, cruel, or unjust. It will try to chew you up, spit you out, and leave you in tatters, but you have to keep fighting. As a result, caring has given me a huge amount of resilience and inner strength within myself and a view on the world that few people my age have. I think for anyone that has gone through some sort of stressful period in the early life, his or her view on the world is a bit different. We see the beauty and wonder of the world, but also the pain and suffering that comes with it. We can see the darkness in the shadows, yet we do not let it detract from the awe in the light. We still cherish the times of happiness and joy, but are better prepared for the times of hardship that comes with life.

I think one of the main things that being a young carer has taught me is to speak out for myself. For many years, young carers have been invisible to society and been ignored by the government. We are disregarded by the social work and healthcare professionals when they are dealing with the people who we care for due to our age and due to our apparent ‘lack’ of maturity,  have had very little input on the decisions being made. We are misunderstood by schools, and many of us receive very little support in regards to our education.

Now while the situation is slowly improving, there is still more needed to be done, especially when it comes to the financial problems that young and especially young adult carers face. A large proportion of us are in low-income families that struggle to make ends meet and the Education Maintenance Allowance is vital in some cases to help families who are living on the bread line. However, due to our caring responsibilities we miss out on payments as we are late for school from our caring role. We often have issues in travelling costs going to and from work, school, college or university. I myself have found myself on many occasions having to borrow £3 for the bus fares to and from work. There is also untapped potential in young adult carers, many of whom cannot go to university due to lack of funding, especially during the summer periods when the SAAS payments stop. Those that do go onto higher education have to try to balance caring, studying and working in order to make ends meet, which of course has an adverse effect on their studies. As a country that prides itself in giving each person an equal chance at realising their potential and achieving their dreams and ambitions, we should be disgusted by this and demand for change.

This is why I am sharing my story and getting involved with the Care.Fair.Share. campaign. For many years I have been silent, just another money-saver for the authorities, taking the punches and trying my hardest to keep myself from falling down. Now I have realised that being silent has done nothing for me or the situation that I am in. This is why I urge my fellow young carers to share their stories and demand change. Make your voice so loud that they will have to listen. Share your message and get others to join you and do the same, get find out about local events and get involved. If we stand together, we will get the change in law that we so desperately need.

Share Keith’s story: 

Share Jack and Lucy’s story: 


Wood Commission Findings

June 3rd, 2014

Scottish Youth Parliament Press Office

June 3, 2014

 

Wood Commission Findings

Scottish Youth Parliament say could make significant impact

The employment prospects of the young people of Scotland could be significantly enhanced if the Scottish Government implements the proposals recommended by the Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. This is the view of the Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, Kyle Thornton MSYP.

The Scottish Youth Parliament, along with partner organisations, NUS Scotland and Young Scot, held a consultation day with young people to feed into the Commission’s Interim report earlier this year. Young people from various backgrounds discussed their views on the suitability of careers education, their experiences of trying to find employment and their ideas for improvement.

The young people made several recommendations to the Commission including the need for higher quality careers education and work experience, more investment in vocational pathways and greater partnerships between businesses and educational institutions.

Speaking on the day of the launch, Kyle Thornton MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said:

“This report sets out a series of very positive and forward thinking recommendations which seek to bridge the gap between our young people’s education and their future employment opportunities. Young people across Scotland consistently tell the Scottish Youth Parliament that youth unemployment is the biggest issue facing them.”

“The Scottish Youth Parliament was pleased that several recommendations that were made after a discussion day with young people, hosted by ourselves, Young Scot and NUS Scotland in partnership with the Commission, are included in the final report, including the need for stronger partnerships between businesses and educational institutions and more high quality fit-for-purpose work experience opportunities and careers guidance.”

“These recommendations have the potential to make a significant positive impact on the employment prospects of our young people, and we would encourage the Scottish Government to seriously consider how these proposals could be implemented in the near future.”

 

Debate on Scotland’s Referendum at the National Library of Scotland

May 30th, 2014

On Wednesday 4th June 2014, the Scottish Youth Parliament and the National Library of Scotland will be co-hosting a Referendum Debate.

Young people from across Scotland will join Kyle Thornton MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, to put their questions about Scotland’s constitutional future to a panel of representatives.

There are no more tickets available for this event, but if you would like to attend, please click here to be added to the waiting list.  We will contact you on a first-come-first-served basis if any tickets become available.

We will be tweeting throughout the event, so follow us at @OfficialSYP and join in the conversation at #AyeNawMibbe.

Meet The Speakers

Dr Jan Eichhorn, University of Edinburgh

Dr Jan EichhornDr Jan Eichhorn is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Social Policy at the University of Edinburgh. He researches political participation and culture, with a special interest in young people’s approaches to politics.

At the moment, Dr Eichhorn is involved with two surveys relating to the Scottish independence referendum.  He is part of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey team investigating attitudes towards the constitutional future of Scotland amongst the adult population.  He also coordinates the only comprehensive and representative survey of the under-18 year olds able to vote in the referendum because of the voting age having been lowered to 16.

In addition to his university-based work, Dr Eichhorn also acts as research director of the think tank d|part which works on the intersection between research and practical engagement in the field of political participation.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Yes Scotland

PatrickHarvieMSP20110510Patrick Harvie has served as a regional MSP for Glasgow since 2003 and is Co-Convener of the Scottish Green Party, and was a member of the Referendum Bill Committee. He has worked on a wide range of issues including housing, energy, climate change, equalities, transport, planning and justice. He is Convener of the Cross Party Group on Sexual Health, and has also been active on CPGs on issues including refugees and asylum seekers, food, and international development.

Before his election to Parliament, Mr Harvie was employed with the Gay Men’s Project at the sexual health agency PHACE Scotland (now known as THT Scotland) from 1997-2003, initially as a youth worker and then as Development Worker for the Lanarkshire area. Working at PHACE, Mr Harvie was involved in research, group work, resource development, fundraising and training in assertiveness, equality and discrimination issues. Mr Harvie previously worked at a recycling charity, a phone line for teenagers, and the Inland Revenue.

He is a keen cook, an occasional runner, and a fan of science fiction and long train journeys.

Liam McArthur MSP, Better Together

LiamMcArthurMSP20110510Liam McArthur MSP was elected as Member of the Scottish Parliament for Orkney in May 2007. Born in Edinburgh, he was brought up in Orkney and attended Sanday Junior Secondary and Kirkwall Grammar School.

After working at Westminster and in Brussels for a number of years, he was appointed by former Deputy First Minister and Orkney MSP, Jim Wallace, as a Special Adviser in 2002. This role involved advising Ministers across a range of policy areas, including enterprise, lifelong learning, agriculture, fisheries, environment and external affairs.

Mr McArthur is currently the Scottish Liberal Democrat member of the Education and Culture Committee, acting as party spokesman for Education and Energy. In the past, he sat on the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

Anne McTaggart MSP, Better Together

Anne-McTaggart20140319Anne McTaggart is a Scottish Labour MSP elected in May 2011 to represent the Glasgow region.  Prior to becoming an MSP, Anne had a diverse career history including her role as a Glasgow City Councillor for Drumchapel/Anniesland, her work as a Community Development worker and as a dance teacher.  She was also the chair of Blairdardie Primary School’s Parent Forum.

Mrs McTaggart is currently a member of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee and the Public Petitions Committee in the Scottish Parliament. She also sits on a number of Cross-Party groups (CPGs), including the CPG on Children and Young People.

Anne has lived in the Knightswood area of Glasgow for over 20 years, and still resides there with her husband and three children.  She is passionate about social justice and has a keen interest in women’s issues.

Humza Yousaf MSP, Yes Scotland

HumzaYousafMSP20110507Humza Yousaf was elected as a Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow in May 2011, aged 26.

After completing his degree in Politics at the University of Glasgow in 2007, he went to work in the Scottish Parliament as an aide to the late Bashir Ahmad MSP.

In May 2011, he was the youngest SNP MSP to be elected to Parliament. He was appointed to the Justice Committee and Public Audit Committees, and was a Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minister Alex Salmond MSP.

In September 2012, he was appointed as Scotland’s first ever Minister for External Affairs and International Development, and became the youngest Minister in the Scottish Government’s history, as well as being the first ever Minister from an ethnic minority background.

His interests include tackling mental health stigma, poverty, civil liberties, issues affecting young people and international affairs. He enjoys riding his motorcycle, watching and playing football, and spending time with his family.

 




Lauren King MSYP – Care.Fair.Share. Friday Focus

May 23rd, 2014

Lauren King MSYP – Care.Fair.Share. Carers CPG

On Tuesday 20th May 2014, I presented Care.Fair.Share. to the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Carers.

The CPG aim to defend the rights of carers, therefore it was essential that the Scottish Youth Parliament was able to secure this meeting and get the group on board with Care.Fair.Share.

As lead campaigner, I am excited for a summer full of intense campaigning. So this meeting was almost like a kick-start for lots of hard work and positive results to come. Presenting to the CPG, we explained the objectives of the campaign, stressing how important it is that changes are made to improve the lives of Scotland’s young carers. I wanted to emphasise how important and valuable their support is to this campaign.

Young carers in Scotland experience financial hardship as a result of the responsibilities they take on to care for their loved ones. SYP believe that this should never be the case. Young carers should not have to compromise on their education or other opportunities because of the caring responsibilities they take on. Care should NOT mean compromise.

The CPG for carers were more than supportive of our campaign. They asked questions about the financial aspects of our campaign, but we stressed that it was important that carers be treated fairly, especially when they do so much for Scotland. We also discussed as a group the importance of identification, noting that more needs to be done to identify young carers to secure them support.

As part of the presentation we encouraged the group to write a letter to call on the Minister for Transport and Veterans, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, and Minister for Public Health to have meetings with SYP about our campaign.

The CPG were more than happy to help us out. It is a really positive result that the CPG are going to support our campaign! The more support we can get – the more progress we can make towards making a real difference for Scotland’s young carers!