• Ayrshire Daily News

North Ayrshire launches 2018 Young People plan

North Ayrshire Council reaffirmed its commitment to young people last week with the official launch of its Year of Young People (YoYP) 2018 plan.

The plan aims to inspire all ages through its young people (aged 8-26) by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions and creating new opportunities for them to shine. In North Ayrshire, this will be done through a year-long programme of events and activities that will give young people the opportunity to show what they are made of. Activities include ‘Joint Cabinet Live’ which will bring together young people from all over North Ayrshire via a live video link, to interact with the Council’s Cabinet Members on the issues faced by young people living in the area. Then there’s a special YoYP Participatory Budgeting exercise that will see those aged 8-26 voting on projects, either organised by or for the benefit of young people, that they want to see happen during 2018. The winning bids will receive up to £1,000 to help deliver their project. And in March, Saltcoats will play host to the 65th sitting of the Scottish Youth Parliament. The annual event and national awards ceremony will be attended by people from across Scotland. At Thursday’s (7 December) launch, Council Leader Joe Cullinane announced plans to develop a YoYP Working Group, to be jointly chaired by an Elected Member and a local young person. The group will ensure that what matters the most to young people is discussed during the year, and that there is a real legacy left from the work that will be taking place. The event brought together council officials and its partners including Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue to hear all about the plan as well as signing up as a YoYP Partner. They were also introduced to North Ayrshire’s 11 YoYP Ambassadors who have been selected to help raise awareness of the year and galvanise support from their peers. Emily Nix, one of the YoYP Ambassadors, said: “As a YoYP Ambassador, I look forward to the year ahead. “We will have the opportunity to showcase the talents, personalities and ambitions of North Ayrshire’s young people, bring communities together and show what we can do – and we can’t wait to show that.” Speaking at the launch event, Council Leader Joe Cullinane, said: “The Year of Young People provides us with a unique opportunity to celebrate North Ayrshire’s young people by shining the spotlight on the tremendous work they do, the important roles they play and the positive impact they have on our communities. “Our YoYP plan outlines our commitment as a local authority to our young people during this important year. And with the development of a dedicated YoYP working group, I’m sure 2018 will leave a lasting legacy of the incredible contribution our young people make to our communities. “The year also forms an important part of our ongoing work to become a ‘child-centred council’ by putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.” Councillor Shaun Macauley, North Ayrshire’s Young Person’s Champion, added: “Thanks to the privilege of being North Ayrshire’s Young Person’s Champion, I know we have some of the best examples of what can be achieved by young people when they have a real say in decisions that affect them. “I have no doubt that once again North Ayrshire’s young people will be a real inspiration to us all and lead the way in showcasing to the rest of the country just how integral they are to our society.” The YoYP plan is available online via the Young Scot website. Anyone that wants to add an event or activity to the official plan, is encouraged to do so via the website.