Scottish Youth Parliament to meet in Stranraer

The Ryan Centre will be one of the venues for the Scottish Youth Parliament this weekend.
The Ryan Centre will be one of the venues for the Scottish Youth Parliament this weekend.

More than 160 young people from every corner of Scotland are heading to Stranraer this weekend for the Scottish Youth Parliament’s 66th National Sitting.

Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) will be setting up in the Ryan Centre and Dumfries and Galloway College for two jam packed days of workshops, training sessions, discussions, consultations, and debates, in addition to updates on the progress of SYP’s national campaign on young people’s rights, Right Here, Right Now.

MSYPs are also delighted that the keynote address will be given by Judith Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission. The Scottish Human Rights Commission was set up by the Scottish Parliament in 2006 to promote and protect human rights for everyone in Scotland. The SHRC is an independent National Human Rights Institution - one of over 100 around the world.

Ms Robertson has had long-standing involvement in social justice campaigning and advocating for the rights of many disadvantaged groups. As chairwoman of the commission, she provides strategic leadership and direction to the commission’s work to promote and protect human rights for everyone in Scotland, including through Scotland’s National Action Plan for Human Rights.

On Sunday, the membership will have the important business of the charity’s AGM, at which the new Board of Trustees will be elected.

It won’t be a case of all work and no play, however, as Dumfries and Galloway has planned a spectacular itinerary for MSYPs as part of their Year of Young People celebrations. With a barbecue, open mic session, ceilidh and other activities on the Friday evening before the Sitting, and a festival-themed event on the Saturday night – including a surprise mystery guest – the visiting MSYPs will undoubtedly have a brilliant time complete with a warm D&G welcome!

Neal McCulloch, one of the MSYPs for Galloway and West Dumfries, said: “It’s brilliant that the fourth sitting of our term as an MSYP for Dumfries and Galloway will take place not only in my home constituency, but my home town of Stranraer. MSYPs from right across Scotland from the Borders to Shetland will be coming to our region for a weekend to remember. Derry, Emily, Emma and I are excited to highlight the amazing opportunities for young people in our part of the country.”

Ahead of MSYPs’ arrival in Stranraer for SYP66, Councillor Adam Wilson, Dumfries and Galloway Council Young People’s Champion said, “Dumfries and Galloway Council is delighted to welcome this SYP Sitting to Stranraer. The SYP Sitting is one of our seven signature events as part of our Council’s ambitious Year of Young People Plan. I look forward to welcoming MSYPs to the region on Saturday morning and to helping in the AGM process on Sunday.”

Trustee Sonny Thomason MSYP said: “We are delighted to be heading to Stranraer this weekend for the Scottish Youth Parliament’s 66th National Sitting. I know we can look forward to another fantastic weekend filled with debate, discussion and lots of hard work.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in bringing this Sitting together, including all at Dumfries and Galloway Council. In particular, I’d like to thank the Support Workers and awesome local MSYPs for welcoming us to their ‘patch’ – we can’t wait to get started!

“I’d also like to offer my thanks to Judith Robertson for being our keynote speaker. We are very fortunate to have the support of Judith and the SHRC for our campaign on young people’s rights, Right Here, Right Now, and are proud to have them as allies as we continue to champion the rights of young people across the country.”