Youth Forum scoops top national award

Children & Young People's Participation Award winners South Ayrshire Youth Forum with Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive of Education Scotland.
Children & Young People's Participation Award winners South Ayrshire Youth Forum with Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive of Education Scotland.

South Ayrshire Youth Forum (SAYF) has won the ‘Children and Young People’s Participation Award’ at the Scottish Education Awards.

The forum has been working closely with South Ayrshire Council to find out what children and young people feel about a range of topics from mental health support, through to issues with littering and transportation.

The prestigious award recognises the research SAYF carried out and also what they did to raise awareness and tackle issues.

To help support young people with their mental health and wellbeing, the SAYF developed a Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter Mark for South Ayrshire Schools, with six local schools taking part in the pilot.

SAYF also created a wellbeing resource pack for youth groups and developed self-help apps and has worked with parents and families to design a mental health and wellbeing leaflet.

Judges were impressed with forum’s involvement in the 2018 Year of Young People, showcasing the talents and achievements of young people across South Ayrshire. Over the year they planned and delivered a range of activities including 26 events and engagements with almost 13,000 young people.

Jessica Hartshorn, chair of South Ayrshire Youth Forum said: “Winning at the Scottish Education Awards was an amazing experience. To be finalists alongside the very best was an honour in itself.

“This award does not just belong to the South Ayrshire Youth Forum but to all the young people who attended our events, who were involved in their delivery and to the staff who supported us all the way.”

Councillor William Grant, children and young people portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “Well done to everyone involved, this is a fantastic achievement for the team! They have worked tirelessly to not only listen to children and young people but have then delivered solutions to help make a difference. It’s a joy to work with young people who are so passionate about improving the lives of others.”

“The award recognises all their effort and I would also like to thank staff from the council’s community learning and development team.”

You can find out more about the SAYF on social media.