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16 June 2015

Jordan Linden MSYP, SYP Chair 2015-16

Good afternoon MSYPs and welcome back.

Can I begin by saying that it is the privilege of my life to be elected as the new Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament and I look forward to working with the new Vice Chair, Katie Burke, and Board Members: Robbie Nicoll, Amy Lee Frioli, Thomas Mair, and Ewan McCall.

Can I also say a huge congratulations to each of the Committee Conveners and Deputy Conveners who have also been elected. We all wish them well in their roles.

I want to reflect, if you will indulge me for just a moment, on my fellow candidate Terri Smith. Terri is not only a friend for life, but has been a committed MSYP since she began to get involved with SYP. I know that she is committed to improving and changing this organisation, just like each of you. I thank her for the support she has given me and the love and friendship she has shown me too.

I also want, if you all don’t mind, to say a few words about Louise Cameron, the outgoing Chair of SYP. Louise was the first democratically elected female Chair and what an incredible Chair she has been. Leadership, strength, and passion come easily to her, and I feel so privileged to have known her during my time as an MSYP. If there is one thing that is for certain, we have not heard the last from Louise Cameron and I’m sure she will continue to do amazing things. So thank you!


We are delighted to announce that the 58th National Sitting of SYP, #SYP58, will be held in East Renfrewshire on the 24th and 25th October 2015. More information will be sent out soon, but please put the date in your diary now. We look forward to seeing you then.

Now to some very important thank yous,

I want to thank Louise Cameron our outgoing Chair, Terri Smith our outgoing Vice Chair, and all of the Board for all their hard work over the last year. Please give them a HUGE round of applause.

We couldn’t be here without our amazing Support Workers and Local Authority Staff who have supported the 2013-2015 Membership, and who will continue to support us as we move into the 2015-2017 term. Without them, SYP would not be able to work as effectively as it does. Please give them a huge round of applause.

I would also like to thank to David Clark, outgoing Deputy Chief Executive of the British Youth Council, for all of his many years of support to this organisation. We wish him all of the very best as he moves onto his new role as Head of Engagement with the UK Parliament.

To our hosts, I would like to say thank you to Renfrewshire Council, and particularly John and Paul for all of their hard work in making this weekend a success and giving us the best karaoke ever!

Penultimate thanks go to the people who helped make this all happen and work very much in the background at times, the SYP Staff Team: Ben, Gareth, Jamie, Rebecca, Claire, Calum, Rhiannon, Steph, and of course Rosy, who helped make it all happen and possible.

A big applause please!

Yesterday, Louise asked that each of you go home and write on a piece of paper about what SYP means to you and why you got involved.

I did. I got involved in SYP because I was a young person who didn’t have a voice when I was younger. I experienced bullying at times, and I wanted to make sure that young people across Scotland, and in particular in my area, never experienced this or felt that they too did not have a voice. I urge you to please go home and write your reason down and when times are tough, or when there’s difficult choices, reflect on your message and it’ll be sure to make you smile.

I want to reflect on the task ahead. I look forward to working with not my Board, but your Board, to deliver for you. Working with our new Chief Executive, Ben McKendrick, the SYP Staff Team, and of course MSYPs and Support Workers. We have the potential to deliver that vision for 70,000 manifesto responses.

So all that is left to say is thank you all for your passion and enthusiasm over the course of the weekend, and to say once again that it is an honour and pleasure to be your new Chair.

Now it is down to the hard work with me as your Chair, along with our Vice Chair and Trustees, and of course all of you. Let’s get out there, get consulting, and lead the way. 

Jordan Linden MSYP

Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament