Young people give hope for the future

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A great turnout of 187 people to the Speyside YP Decide Showcase brought a buzz to the ‘chill out  area’ at Speyside High’s Community Hub last Friday, 5 October.

YP stands for Young People, as in #Year of Young People in Moray, with this special project contributing to Moray communities celebrating our kids.

Every child and young person in Speyside could vote via the Young Scot platform. Adults who came to the Showcase could also vote, a decision made by the children and young people themselves.

The £10,000 funding pot has been generously provided by two local family foundations. This has made Speyside YP Decide possible.

A phenomenal total of 627 people took part by voting online, either at the event itself, at school or on a mobile device, via the Young Scot voting platform.

At the Showcase children and young people presented their projects to visitors within the bustling marketplace, supported by project table displays, and project descriptions online.

One local Parent Council member said, ‘I am so inspired by the kids and their projects, I feel real hope for the future, right here in the room’.

Every voter was given three votes (a decision made by the kids) to cast over the 21 projects available to support, with the top 7 causes receiving the full award requested, totalling just under £5000. The remaining 14 projects were awarded a share of the rest.

The children and young people’s decision to share the budget paves the way for future Participatory budgeting (PB) programmes in Moray, where everyone’s a winner, or perhaps more accurately, resources are shared in a way that feels fairer with rewards for all who take part.

Speyside Councillor Louise Laing presented awards to all the groups, assisted by The Speyside YP Decide project team.

Shona Morrison, Convener, The Moray Council, accompanied by Louise Laing, joined visitors in browsing stalls and chatting to children, who made the most of this opportunity to ‘sell’ their projects to politicians and members of the public alike to bring in more votes!

Event team helpers included the Applicants (the kids from project groups), the Supporters (parents, carers, teachers and other unsung heroes), and dedicated Moray Council Youth Workers from Elgin and Lossiemouth.

YP Decide has received praise for the kids making key voting decisions to shape the PB process. Several young people have signed up to help re-design the application form for future programmes and there may be opportunities for them to help shape promotional material and press releases.

The Speyside YP Decide team is led by Debi Weir, of the Moray Council Engagement Team, with support from Amy Jane Donald, Manager of the Cabin, Dufftown, and Elidh Brown, Health and Wellbeing Team Coordinator, tsiMORAY.

Elidh Brown commented: “Recent changes in how children services are managed across Moray may open up opportunities for more joined up working. Speyside YP Decide provides a good model of a collaborative and democratic approach for the future, with all ages taking part together, as active citizens, creating our own communities and putting children and young people at the very heart of decision making.”

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