Youth Parliament members and MSP tackling issues for young people

Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament Reece Harding and Kyle Slater.
Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament Reece Harding and Kyle Slater.

Freshly back from the national sitting of the Scottish Youth Parliament, Clydesdale’s two members are holding a summer youth surgery with MSP Aileen Campbell next week.

Reece Harding, Kyle Slater and the Scottish National Party MSP will jointly host the surgery, in Knightly Gaming store in St Leonard Street, on Thursday, July 20, and all young people are welcome to drop in.

At the end of June, Reece and Kyle took their place with more than 150 MSYPs and their support workers from every corner of Scotland in Vale of Leven Academy in Alexandria for the sitting, the 63rd.

Reece and Kyle, both 17, were elected as MSYPs for their constituency of Clydesdale in March after more than 80,000 young people cast their votes.

At the sitting, they threw themselves into their work, taking part in training sessions, meeting their fellow MSYPs, undertaking workshops to better prepare them for their roles and participating in an annual meeting.

Voting also took place to decide the parliament’s next national campaign, and after hearing pitches on the five options – including public transport, young people’s rights, climate change, personal, social, health and economic education and youth work – the membership decided this year to focus on the issue of young people’s rights.

Reece, of Carluke, got involved in the parliament through his work with Universal Connection and South Lanarkshire Youth Council, and he has already served a term as a member.

“It’s been a privilege to return to the Scottish Youth Parliament for a second term,” he said. “I believe the young people of Clydesdale need a strong voice, especially in such a rural constituency.

“One of the challenges that face young people in Clydesdale, in particular those in rural communities, is lack of public transport, and I will work with local transport companies to address this.

“I look forward to my next term in the Scottish Youth Parliament, and I would urge any young person to contact me if they have any issues.”

Kyle, of Douglas, said: “Prior to the election, I had become frustrated with feeling ignored after being denied a say in things that mattered to me, simply because of my age. I had heard about the youth parliament through South Lanarkshire Youth Council and saw this as an opportunity to try to make a positive impact on my local area of Clydesdale.

He enjoyed the SYP sitting.

“It was fantastic meeting other young people, like-minded yet diverse, each and every one of them ready to make a difference and to be part of an organisation driven by change, unity and youth voice.

“My time as an MSYP has only just begun, and I cannot wait to get stuck in and do my bit for the young people I represent.”

The summer youth surgery takes place on July 20 from 2pm to 3pm, and no appointment is necessary.

Ms Campbell said: ““I look forward to working together with Kyle and Reece to best represent young people across Clydesdale and to hear directly from them about what issues are of top concern.

“If there are any issues, ideas or concerns you have, you will find a welcoming environment to come and raise and discuss them with your local representatives.”