Empowering our young people in 2018
Giving young people the opportunity to influence decisions that affect their lives is a key theme as the City of Edinburgh Council launched their Year of Young People 2018.
A special reception, held at the City Chambers last night (Thursday 18 January), was opened by Councillor Alison Dickie, Vice Convener of Education, Children and Families.
On the night there was a presentation from Young Edinburgh Action and 33 young people received their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Awards. There were also musical performances from the Royal High School Strings Group, Longstone Primary School Choir and the Royal High School Fiddle Group.
2018 has been designated as the Year of Young People as part of the Scottish Government’s programme of themed years. The Council is planning a year long series of events for 2018 to highlight/encourage youth participation and involvement. The themes for the year, identified by young people themselves, are:
- Culture - share and celebrate young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts
- Education - allow young people to have more say in their education and learning
- Enterprise - celebrate young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live
- Equality and Discrimination - recognise the positive impact of young people in Scotland an encourage them to take the lead in challenging all forms of prejudice and discrimination
- Health and Wellbeing – make sure young people have the chance to lead healthy, active lives and understand the importance of mental health and resilience
- Participation – give young people the chance to influence decisions that affect their lives
Cllr Dickie said: “There are amazing achievements taking place every day across Edinburgh’s schools, colleges and universities, youth groups and beyond and in this special year I want everyone to be inspired by the breadth of talent that exists in this fantastic city.
“2018 is a refreshing opportunity to showcase that amazingness, and to work with young people to build confidence and identify new diverse pathways to support them in achieving their full potential.
“For policy makers it’s time to step back and expect change. This is not about tokenistic opportunities but a serious trust in the ability of our young people to shape tangible new policies that make a difference to lives here in Edinburgh. The Education, Children and Families Committee has already agreed to enhanced engagement to ensure that their voice is at the heart of our policy making. As a former teacher I have been inspired by the results when young people have taken the lead and I’m really looking forward to seeing them making a positive difference in 2018.”