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.
About the Young Islanders Challenge
The Young Islanders Challenge was created to give a voice to young people living in our island communities. We wanted know:
- Issues that affect your lives.
- What are the good and bad things about island life? What would you change if you could?
- What would you like a Young Islanders Network to do and achieve?
- You told us that life on the islands is rooted in your communities – which you felt were safe – surrounded by beautiful scenery and great access to outdoor activities and local events. But…
Some of the issues young people identified were:
- There’s a lack of things for young people to do.
- Cost of living is a barrier, including travel on/off/around the islands and in housing.
- Connectivity is a challenge, online and in person.
- Education has issues with less opportunities and specialism locally.
Lots of young people also achieved a Hi5 Award or Dynamic Youth Award and the people working with the young islanders were supported to access training and develop their skills.
One project that came out of the challenge was Our Island Stories – resulting in the first Young Islanders’ Film Festival.