Board and Convener elections 2019

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Scottish Youth Parliament

21 May 2019

The SYP AGM 2019 takes place on Sunday 30th June.  

This will inform you everything that you need to know about the AGM, about the different positions that will be elected, and all other information you need if you decide that you want to stand.

What is the SYP AGM?

SYP’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) provides the SYP Membership the opportunity to elect a new Chair, Vice Chair and Board of Trustees. Our AGM takes place every June.

What is the SYP Board?

SYP is a Scottish charity, which means that the Board of Trustees primary responsibility is to look after the interests of the charity and make sure that SYP acts in the interests of its charitable purposes at all times.

The SYP Board is not a political Cabinet, like the UK or Scottish Cabinets.

The SYP Board of Trustees have different responsibilities, but also restrictions on what they can and cannot do.

These are legal responsibilities of all charity Trustees and if the SYP Trustees do not meet those responsibilities they could be taken to court or even be charged with a criminal offence.

The candidates you vote for will be Trustees of a Scottish charity, legally responsible for standing up for the best interests of that charity, no matter what.

Their key priority is to make sure that they run the charity properly and make sure it is always fulfilling its charitable purposes. 

In addition to their legal responsibilities, the SYP Board act as leaders of the organisation, liaise with the staff team, set budgets and represent SYP at various events. 

Your Board candidates 

Candidates are presented in alphabetical order by first name.

Chair

Alice Ferguson 

'If you believe SYP should be led by someone who has extensive experience, knowledge and a genuine desire to represent members and Scotland’s young people, you should elect me.

If elected, I would ensure to maintain and further build SYP’s positive image, ensuring it is an increasingly valued organisation in Scottish society. I would help to further strengthen and develop its reputation as a strong and trustworthy body which represents Scotland’s youth in a professional and effective way. 

My election to the board would allow me to underline and amplify the value of being an MSYP, ensuring that every member feels comfortable and able to advocate for the views of their constituents and voluntary organisations on every platform; locally, nationally or internationally.

Most importantly, I truly believe that as Chair, I would offer members a friendly face for support, advice or even just a chat!' 

Jack Dudgeon

'I've gained so much from my two years as an MSYP - my confidence has increased ten-fold, I've gained so many transferable skills and I've achieved things I would previously never have thought possible. 

I want every MSYP to be able to say the same by the end of their term. 

As Chair, not only would I bring my experience as a convener, PG member, trustee and Vice Chair to the role, but also a new vision for SYP. A vision of greater emphasis on members' voices being heard during Board meetings, and ensuring that every hard-working MSYP gets access to at least one national opportunity.

I believe I have the experience and the vision to be your Chair, but I need your vote to make it happen. #BackJack!' 

Vice Chair

Alice Ferguson 

'If you believe SYP should be led by someone who has extensive experience, knowledge and a genuine desire to represent members and Scotland’s young people, you should elect me.

If elected, I would ensure to maintain and further build SYP’s positive image, ensuring it is an increasingly valued organisation in Scottish society. I would help to further strengthen and develop its reputation as a strong and trustworthy body which represents Scotland’s youth in a professional and effective way. 

My election to the board would allow me to underline and amplify the value of being an MSYP, ensuring that every member feels comfortable and able to advocate for the views of their constituents and voluntary organisations on every platform; locally, nationally or internationally.

Most importantly, I truly believe that as Vice Chair, I would offer members a friendly face for support, advice or even just a chat!' 

Josh Kennedy

'Having been an MSYP for the last two years, and on the Board for one, I believe that I have the necessary experience to be your Vice Chair. I recognise the importance of supporting and empowering you to find your voice, so that you might use it effectively to campaign and lobby for reform on behalf of Scotland’s young people. As such, if you elect me, I will strive to ensure that we as an organisation provide you with what you need to thrive in your role, and to make a difference. Moreover, I will also work towards enhancing our external partnerships, with Government, Local Authorities and external partners, so that we are better able to influence and inform decision making.

I have worked tirelessly in several organisations that strive to represent young people and will continue to if elected to the role of Vice Chair.'

Zanib Ahmad

'I have been an MSYP for the past two years and Convenors Trustee last year. I have served on the board last term and have an in-depth understanding to the structure of SYP.  Moreover, I was involved in the naming and shaping of “All Aboard” SYP's last campaign on public transport and a fundamental aspect to the organisation’s success.

I have a bubbly personality to engage with young people, but also keep a professional environment on hand. 

I hope that if elected to the role I can meet the best interests of the organisation and maintain its charitable and democratic status, but moreover also ensure that MSYPs are valued.

However, experience isn’t always key, but fundamental to the role is dedication and commitment. I can assure you that these qualities for me cannot be any more strengthened, and I know that I am the right person for the role.'

Trustees

Alice Ferguson 

'If you believe SYP should be led by someone who has extensive experience, knowledge and a genuine desire to represent members and Scotland’s young people, you should elect me.

If elected, I would ensure to maintain and further build SYP’s positive image, ensuring it is an increasingly valued organisation in Scottish society. I would help to further strengthen and develop its reputation as a strong and trustworthy body which represents Scotland’s youth in a professional and effective way. 

My election to the board would allow me to underline and amplify the value of being an MSYP, ensuring that every member feels comfortable and able to advocate for the views of their constituents and voluntary organisations on every platform; locally, nationally or internationally.

Most importantly, I truly believe that as Trustee, I would offer members a friendly face for support, advice or even just a chat!'

Bailey-Lee Robb

'I believe my previous experience speaks for itself, which makes me the best candidate for Trustee. Through my local work from achieving youth representation on committees at Fife Council to a participatory budgeting fund, from a holiday hunger programme to my work on the catchment review. I have achieved a lot in Fife over the past two years and I am ready to do the same across Scotland, as your Trustee. I would be a Trustee that is there for you, ready to provide the support. Accessible and Accountable – working with you to achieve the best for your constituents and the young people of Scotland.

I promise to deliver changes that help you through your two years as MSYPs, from changes to policy and elections, to increasing support given to you in your roles and fully implementing the governance review. I will be a Trustee that delivers for you.'

Caitie Dundas

'Coming into my third year of SYP, I’m eager, excited and ready to hit the ground running and jump into a fresh term by ensuring that new MSYPs get the very best they can out of their membership. Having spent two years in the so-called ‘backbenches’ of the organisation, I can say I hold a deep understanding of the needs and desires of MSYPs, and am hopeful to apply that to the position of trustee.

I’m passionate about accountability, accessibility and transparency, and can promise that I’ll always answer to the demands of MSYP’s. I’m approachable, friendly, and enjoy helping members, as well as listening to their queries or concerns. Coming from a rural background and being in school, I know all too well the struggles of balancing school and SYP, especially with lengthy journeys, so, if elected, I would be committed to making events and activities more accessible going forwards.'

Emily Harle

'As your Trustee, I will be driven and committed, and will be an approachable Board member. When elected as an MSYP, I quickly learnt how uplifting a friendly face is, so I hope to provide that support to fellow MSYPs!

One of my priorities is to ensure the Creative Communications Team stays active and supported. Having been Convenor of the team the past year, I am well equipped to provide the team with the exact support they need, whilst allowing the group to remain independent.

Another priority of mine is to ensure MSYPs are engaged with the National Campaign, so they can advance the campaign locally as well as nationally.

I’m a dedicated individual with a passion for channelling young people’s voices. If elected, I will strive to elevate SYP and engage this new membership, so we can continue making a difference, and improving the lives of Scotland’s young people!'

Josh Kennedy

'Having been an MSYP for the last two years, and on the board for one, I believe that I have the necessary experience to be your Trustee. I recognise the importance of supporting and empowering you to find your voice, so that you might use it effectively to campaign and lobby for reform on behalf of Scotland’s young people. As such, if you elect me, I will strive to ensure that we as an organisation provide you with what you need to thrive in your role, and to make a difference. Moreover, I will also work towards enhancing our external partnerships, with Government, Local Authorities and external partners, so that we are better able to influence and inform decision making.

I have worked tirelessly in several organisations that strive to represent young people and will continue to if elected to the role of Trustee.'

Robbie Burgess 

'After being an MSYP for two years and now entering another two years with a mostly new membership I want to make sure this board works for the new membership in the best way possible.

If elected as Trustee, I promise to be hard-working, honest, reliable and people-centred in my Board work to provide the best for the membership, and ensure MSYPs will have as much support as possible and make the most out of this term.

If elected as Trustee I want to make sure SYP is inclusive and accessible to every individual’s needs, i.e. any learning differences. I would also like to review SYP’s opportunities policy and make sure every MSYP can get an opportunity within their term.

I want to continue helping Scotland’s young people thrive in our country and hope you can join me on the journey.'

Sarah Quinn 

'Two years ago, I was told that I’d get out of SYP what I put in, so I put in my all.

For the past two years, I have prioritised youth, given them a platform for their voice as founder of Shotts Youth Forum and Vice-Chair of NLYC, and been a voice for those who cannot speak through campaigning for equality at an international level.

I’m a team player, a leader, and most importantly – a friend. As your Trustee, I’ll be glad to prioritise your wellbeing, your issues, and your campaigns. I’ll maintain accountability, fairness, and ambition for change. I’ll push for a better communications system that shows all your accomplishments, for an accessible policy system, for better outreach with disengaged groups like those in ASN or behavioural schools, for MSYPs to have a better support network, and more.

For an SYP that truly represents Scotland’s young people, vote #QuinnToWin.'

Zanib Ahmad

'I have been an MSYP for the past two years and Convenors Trustee last year. I have served on the board last term and have an in-depth understanding to the structure of SYP.  Moreover, I was involved in the naming and shaping of “All Aboard” SYP's last campaign on public transport and a fundamental aspect to the organisation’s success.

I have a bubbly personality to engage with young people, but also keep a professional environment on hand. 

I hope that if elected to the role I can meet the best interests of the organisation and maintain its charitable and democratic status, but moreover also ensure that MSYPs are valued.

However, experience isn’t always key, but fundamental to the role is dedication and commitment. I can assure you that these qualities for me cannot be any more strengthened, and I know that I am the right person for the role.'

Your Convener candidates 

Education and Lifelong Learning

Catherine Mackie 

‘Over the past two years, I’ve confidently represented the ELL Committee on a number of occasions, for example, I spoke in the Scottish Parliament at the Education Committee on why music tuition should stay free in secondary schools. This was reported online at the time by BBC News, the Herald, and STV News.

At a previous sitting, I deputised a meeting when the deputy convener wasn’t available.

I was also a key member of the SQA Futures Assessment Panel, and helped present our final report to the SQA in front of key SQA figures. I have also since joined Young Scot’s new Learner Future Panel.

In February, I represented SYP at a national level at a NESTA Education Conference in London, alongside former Convener, Chloe Whyte, where we spoke about young people’s experiences of education.

I have a wide variety of experience representing the ELL Committee, and being Convener would allow us to continue our fantastic work.'

Lauren Kelly 

'As someone who is currently in the education system, I am in the perfect position to see from different perspectives; and relate to many demographics. I am someone who witnesses and experiences the issues with education daily.

I am a pro-active member of my school. For example, I am the Holocaust Ambassador, educating all years on what happened, and what mustn’t repeat. This meant taking on a leadership role to co-ordinate, but also to work as part of a team to use our creative skills to make a mural on a tight deadline.

I also feel that the heart of mental health issues begins in the Education system. During the ‘Speak Your Mind’ campaign, work was done to improve this, however it’s still a pressing issue. Much more can be done education wise to improve mental health for the youth. As Convener, I would like to address these life-altering issues.'

Liam Fowley

'We wouldn’t be where we are today without our education, it’s so important. Education at every stage, level and quantity should be cherished. But as Einstein said “Everyone’s a genius. But If you judge fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life thinking it’s stupid” This is so critical to our learning processes. We should NEVER kill a person’s creativity, passion or ambition simply because they can’t achieve what the person next to them can. We need to exploit our differences and use them for good.

If elected Convener of the Education and Life Long Learning committee it would be the first step towards improving our Education experience at all stages to make sure education is enjoyed, not dreaded and that our curriculum is pursuing excellence in every aspect of our lives.

We need change. We will make it.'

Maria McGoldrick

'In my school I’ve been a part of many focus groups and I’m currently a part of the pupil leadership team, in these groups I have been able to see challenges in schools and have tried to change things for the better.

I am the leader of the rights respecting schools committee and within that I have been able to see the problems surrounding rights and though I have worked with the school trying to solve these, many problems stem from things out with their control such as funding.

I am a great leader, able to listen to everyone’s views and keep the intentions of the wider community at heart.

Although I am a new MSYP I have taken leadership roles before which has given me huge amounts of experience and not only have I been a part of trying to fix problems, I have been effected by them myself.'

Ross McArthur

'I left school during 3rd year to attend a “Junior College” as I, like more than 20% of Scotland's young people became disengaged with my education and was in danger of slipping through the cracks. Thankfully, I was given another chance to flourish, however for too many young people in Scotland a second chance like I had is not afforded. Due to my experience within the education system I believe that I can bring unique ideas to the table. If elected I hope, to help take forward the #NoWrongPath campaign.

Another issue we need to combat is the scourge of mental health concerns facing young people, particularly around exam time. As elected representatives of young people, its our responsibility to face both these issues head on.  The devastating effects that both the expectation that is placed upon young people to attend university or they are deemed a “failure” & exam stress can have on young people has to change.'

Equalities and Human Rights 

C-Jay Quigley

'I am Transgender/Bi and know how people feel who are treated unfairly and I’ve lived as both male and female and seen how they are treated differently. I would like to have the opportunity to stand up for equality and human rights and ensure everyone is treated equally, no matter who they love, identify as, skin colour, nationality or disability.

I would make sure that the committee would fight for the rights of young people, to ensure our voices are heard and that we are treated fairly in any situation. I think I would do a great job as convener as I am passionate and committed to the fight for equality and human rights.

The previous Committee have done an amazing job fighting for equality and for the rights of young people and I would ensure that this fight will continue, and I will take this forward by consulting all members of the committee to ensure all voices are heard and everyone is represented.'

Daniella Damptey

'This role requires dedication and a willingness to develop one’s knowledge about a subject area. This is my aim. My passion for young people motivates me to serve them, in this way, by consulting with members on key issues that affect them with an open mind.

I aim to communicate effectively to and with others’ when representing the committee. I want to be an active voice, in the planning and organisation of the SYP’s campaigns, not just for my constituents, but for every young person in Scotland, who could benefit from these campaigns.

I am dedicated to building relationships with staff and my fellow members to see the success of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee and the SYP during this term. I believe that people and communities, will be at the heart of this committee and together we can bring about positive changes for the young people of Scotland.'

Revati Campbell

'My identity falls under many minority groups; a young woman of colour, who was raised by same sex, disabled parents as a Buddhist and Jew. Consequently, I was exposed to issues of social exclusion and can understand a range of complex issues and opinions that are important to young people.

I have presented initiatives in a range of environments; a keynote speaker at a Parliament conference, on a panel for ‘International Activism’ at the ‘WOW’ Festival and as a member on a Youth Mental Health Board.

My leadership skills are demonstrated as a Yearbook Editor, where I’m responsible for leading a committee to work collaboratively. In this role I liaison between the school and external yearbook company, and coordinate and engage with the committee ensuring that every member has input into the project. My drive and passion for equal opportunities and rights is what would make me a great convener.'

External Affairs, UK and International Relations

Erik Rosljajev

'Hello, my name is Eric Rosljajev and I am stepping in my 3rd year of studying International Relations at the university of Aberdeen. 

This year will be very important for our committee. We should work all together, and I am able to organise our work to reflect all views of MSYPs and our constituents. Political impartiality is vital.

I have served as Vice-President of Aberdeen Model United Nations and have contacts with Scottish United Nation Association. I have skills of picking very careful wordings that would help our committee to express our will in SYP. I am serving my second term as Vice-Chair of Aberdeen City Youth Council and I am more than familiar with the role of being your convener. I am very excited to work for you, with you.'

Thea Tjolle

'I have a keen interest in Scotland’s place in the UK and internationally, so I am standing to be convener of the committee for External Affairs, the UK & International Relations.

My success in European Youth Parliament debates reflects the knowledge I have of international affairs.

In my manifesto, I said it was important that Scottish youth are well-informed and have a voice in the BREXIT process. If I was part of this committee, I would suggest one of our goals would be to let Scottish youth be heard in negotiations – to give us control over our future.

I enjoy organising and planning, particularly in teams, and am a good communicator.

I would carry out the Convener role enthusiastically and conscientiously to ensure the Scottish Youth Parliament is well-represented.'

Health and Wellbeing

Abbie Wright

'I am an enthusiastic, confident, hardworking and responsible person, whom prides themselves on being friendly and supportive. I have a wide range of experience working with young people from a range of backgrounds, as a brownie leader, lifeguard, horse-riding and swimming instructor as well as being a prefect at my school.

I have an in-depth knowledge of the NHS, which is a massive part of health and wellbeing in Scotland, and have experienced first-hand the benefits, as well as the downsides of our healthcare system.

I have also experienced mental health problems, which is a huge wellbeing issue in today’s society, and I feel being able to draw on these experiences would be greatly beneficial, especially when discussing this topic.

I am passionate about the lives of young people in Scotland, and ensuring everyone is as healthy and happy as possible.'

Emily Nix 

'Health and Wellbeing is an issue that I am passionate about, and one that my constituents are passionate about too!

I've done a lot of work locally on health and wellbeing, from tackling mental health by creating a suicide prevention blog and animation series with my local youth council to being involved in poverty campaigns, this issue has been a recurring theme.

The role of convener would allow me to be even more involved in making change in this issue, and to build on skills that I've gained from chairing North Ayrshire's YoYP Strategic Group.

 I have a lot of ambition for the things that we, as a committee and as the SYP can achieve, particularly in terms of getting young people better mental health support, and I have the enthusiasm to work on it. I'm keen to see what we can do together, and excited to work with everyone!'

Jobs, Economy and Fair Work

Sasha Brydon 

'I feel like I would be a suitable Convener for the Jobs, Economy and Fair Work committee because I have knowledge of the issues facing young people with regards to work.

From insecure work in the form of zero-hours contracts, to ridiculous overtime when there should be two people in the role to spread the hours out. Young people are some of the most exploited at work, with 8% of young people being in Unions.

As a Convener, I would put a poll to the members about their interests and delegate opportunities and work accordingly as and when required. I would also maintain contact with the Convener of the Holyrood equivalent, contact the Scottish Trade Union Congress and would contact Scotland’s 20 Trades Union Councils to see about co-operation around work with young members, as well as the STUC Youth Committee.'

Social Security 

Jay Alsafar

'Hey, I’m Jay Alsafar MSYP elect for North East Fife and I would to take on the convener’s committee role of social security.

I have been putting a lot of work in my constituency with my social security campaign consulting young people in my area looking at the arising issues caused by poverty ect. I and my co-elect Jamie have been in parliament discussing the issues in our constituent trying our hardest to make sure action is take on everyone’s opinions and viewpoints.

I would love to take on this role as I’m eager to make changes on the arising issues related to social security problems in my area and I am dedicated in doing so.'

Sport and Leisure

Jayde Ann Cowan 

I feel I am the best for role as convener as I am heavily involved within sports and leisure itself out with the parliament. I am a voluntary Active Schools Coordinator so I am aware of how hard it is to access the leisure faculties and to be able to participate in sport. I am studying Sport and Fitness in College as I am hoping to work in the sports and leisure field.

 I also have had experience with the previous convenor where he showed me what it was liked and helped me realise how big of a commitment it is and will be.

 I will be heavily dedicated and committed and will always give 110% into everything I’m being asked to do within the committee I will also make sure all member feel heard valued and have a say in what we will be doing as a committee.

Transport, Environment and Rural Affairs

Aaran McDonald

'I was a member of the TERA committee for the past 2 years I am aware of the issues we have raised and the progress we have made.

But I also know where we could do better and how we as a committee can do better as a collective.

I will split all opportunities equally.

I will share regularly with the committee and our wider TERA Community.

I will make it so that I as Convener work for you not the other way around.

With me as our Convener YOU will set the agenda.'

 

Candidates are presented in this document in order of Committee and first name by alphabetical order.

In addition to the candidate(s) for Convener, MSYPs will be able to vote to ‘re-open nominations’ (RON), by writing RON on their ballot paper. If ‘RON’ is elected (i.e., receives the most votes), MSYPs within the Committee will be able to put themselves forward to stand as a Convener. Where there is no candidate for a Committee, the facilitator will allow MSYPs to nominate themselves.

Please note: the statements offered in support of these candidates are the personal opinions of the MSYPs standing, and do not reflect SYP Policy or procedures as a whole.

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@OfficialSYP tweeted this page. 2019-05-29 12:10:30 +0100