Monday the 13th November saw Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon visit the Oasis Youth Centre in Dumfries to formally launch the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People 2018 in recognition of the level of support that Dumfries and Galloway’s Year of Young People 2018 plan has contributed to the year’s programme of activities.
Scotland’s first ever Year of Young People aims to inspire all ages through its young people (8-26) by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine on a local and global stage. The Year of Young People 2018 is a year-long programme of events and activities that will give young people in Scotland the opportunity to show the world what they are made of.
The Dumfries & Galloway plan has a wide range of activities, experiences and events for young people across the region to participate within. The whole programme is about re-shaping the lens on our young people and highlighting what is great about our area and our young people.
Meeting with the national representatives from the Communic18 youth steering group, and the local steering group for Year of Young People 2018 to discuss the local Dumfries and Galloway plan and the national plans, the First Minister praised the effort the young people have contributed so far to make 2018 a year to remember.
Part of the First Minister’s visit included a guided tour through “The Toon” experience, a hard hitting interactive youth information experience designed and delivered by young people for young people that will be a key part of Dumfries and Galloway’s Year of Young People 2018 programme. She then met with local young people to discuss issues affecting them and the opportunities 2018 would present.
Councillor Adam Wilson, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Young Peoples Champion said: “Our regions Year of Young Plan is one of the most ambitious in Scotland and that is reflected by the year’s national launch including the First Minister taking place in Dumfries. Our inclusive plan includes opportunities for all young people to improve their skills, raise participation levels and celebrate our culture. ”
During her visit the First Minister told the local press it was significant to stage the launch in Dumfries for 2 reasons “Firstly to send a very clear message the Year of Young People is for all of Scotland, not just the central belt. We want the events and benefits to touch every part of Scotland. Secondly, because young people in Dumfries and Galloway who have been working on this programme of events have done an absolutely fantastic job, so it was my way of recognising that and pay tribute to them”
“Based on what I have seen today, yes it is in many respects a shining light. Some of the theatre work I’ve seen today, the performances I heard, the plans for the music festival say there is much great work bring done by youth workers and young people in Dumfries and Galloway”
Member of the Communic18 group and youth lead for the Dumfries and Galloway steering group Lauren Asher said “The plan Dumfries and Galloway has put together for the year of Young People 2018 will make an impact on young people across the area and it’s taken a lot of work to get to this point. We’re all really excited to show off the skills and talent young people offer their local communities and Scotland – 2018 really will be a year to remember.”