The aim of the Network is to build on the success of the Young Islanders Challenge and ensure that the voices of young islanders are heard.
In 2021 Young islanders took part in the pilot project: The Young Islanders Challenge.
Working in partnership with the Scottish Government and the National Islands Plan, Youth Scotland’s Young Islanders Challenge was created to represent the views and opinions of young people living and growing up in Scotland’s island communities.
This laid the foundations for the Young Islanders Network.
The Young Islanders Network is made up of young people in Representatives and Depute roles, supported by Youth Scotland staff. They are:
Andy is from Orkney and was formerly the chair of the Orkney Youth Forum. Andy is our Young Islanders Housing and Employment representative. Andy has experience of working in employability and is passionate about his community.
Matthew is from Tiree and is a young leader in his local youth club. Matthew is also the youngest person invited to sit on the Tiree Trust board. Matthew is the Rural and Islands Youth Parliament representative for the Young Islanders Network, supported by Depute Kaydence.
Kaydence is from Orkney and is an experienced MSYP (member of Scottish Youth Parliament) for Orkney and she has various other roles in Youth Voice platforms. Kaydence is the National Islands Plan Delivery Group Representative for the Young Islanders Network, and she also supports Matthew as the depute Rural and Islands Youth Parliament Rep.
Maimie is from Lewis and is the Education, Youth Work and Sports Rep for the Young Islanders Network. Maimie is also a relief sports coach for young people in the community. Maimie has represented the Western Isles as part of the Women’s football team in Guernsey at the Islands Games 2023.
Brynn is from Shetland and has amassed some amazing achievements to date with his fundraising and awareness raising, having recently been awarded a Points of Light by the former PM for his amazing efforts. Brynn is the Depute Climate Change, Environment and Carbon Neutral Islands rep, supporting Maria and he is also the depute rep for the young islanders’ social care, Mental Health and Wellbeing lead.
Sapphire is from Tiree and is very passionate about housing and island life. This makes Sapphire a great young person to support Andy with the Housing and Employment role. Sapphire is the Depute Housing and Employment rep.
Maria is from Lewis and has been part of the Young Leaders programme with the Lewis and Harris Youth Clubs Association at Scaladale. Maria is the Climate change, Environment and Carbon Neutral Islands rep for the Young Islanders Network. Maria also supports Kaydence as the Depute Rep for the National Islands Plan delivery group.
Daniel (& baby Seocaidh- our newest YIN member). Daniel joined us in June, and he is based in Skye and is
one of our new Young Islanders Network Development Workers, working 3 days a week.
Mack is from Tiree and has recently become our newest rep for Transport. Mack delivered an impressive workshop at his school assembly before the Summer and is continuing the good work in the coming weeks. Mack has been a young islanders champion since early in 2022 and is a great addition to the reps team. Mack is looking for a depute rep, if you know anyone who might be interested in supporting him.
Sophie is our new Social Care, Mental Health and Wellbeing Rep. Sophie is from Lewis and we know her best for coming on board as a Content Creator at the HebCelt on behalf of YIN in the summer of 2023. Sophie has a real eye behind the lens and produced some beautiful photos over the weekend. Sophie is also involved in the local Youth Voice group at the youth cafe and is a relief worker there too.
Ellie from Shetland is our new Depute Transport Rep We met Ellie at the Scottish Rural and Islands Youth Parliament in Fort William last November where she, along YIN rep Matthew presented the Transport demand to the Cabinet Secretary. Ellie works for a charity in Shetland, providing sessions to secondary school pupils in all the schools on consent, power and gender-based violence. Out with work Ellie is a Youth worker at her local youth club and has also been an active representative at the Rural and Islands Youth Parliament meetings.
Naomi is the Senior Development worker, full time and is based in Lewis. (Naomi’s colleagues think she secretly has a twin due to all the work on YIN she does!)
Young Islanders Network
The Young Islanders Network will become a community which joins young people together from all the islands, sharing their voices, views and experiences.
A key commitment in the National Islands Plan is that young people from all our islands will be consulted in the implementation of the Plan.
The contributions from the Young Islanders Network will ensure that the interests and priorities of Young Islanders are carefully considered and reflected in the development of the Islands Plan.
The YIN is not intended to supersede or replace any existing youth organisations and networks already operating in our island communities. Its role will be to help build on these and facilitate engagement and collaboration across our islands.
The Young Islander Champions will be invited to;
- Take part in community challenges.
- Develop their leadership skills.
- Lead on social action changes in their community.
The young people and the Youth workers who support them will be able to access Place2B and Y2B peer mental health training. We recognise from the discussions during the Pilot project that Young Islanders feel that their mental health and support in their own area is important to them.
We are currently working with youth hubs across the islands to showcase the activities of the Young Islanders Network to the whole of Scotland.
Young Islanders have said that they would like opportunities to meet face to face and to see what life is like on other islands. Through a series of local, inter-island and mainland-based events the Young Islanders will be able to come together to get to know each other and share their experiences and views on island life.
The Young Islanders will look at their hopes and aspirations for the Network and they will co-develop a plan to take the Network to the next stages in the development.