South Ayrshire give young people a voice

Discussing the big issues at the Youth Forum in South Ayrshire
Discussing the big issues at the Youth Forum in South Ayrshire

South Ayrshire Council has hosted the seventh annual Youth Conference with the theme being equalities and participation.

All the secondary schools in South Ayrshire were represented with just under 70 pupils coming together to share best practice and give examples of how their school integrates with everyone in their community regardless of race, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation or age.

The conference was co-ordinated by the multi-agency South Ayrshire Youth Strategy Implementation Group and was an opportunity for youth organisations, youth workers and young people to:

· Increase awareness of equality and diversity throughout our schools and community.

· Help reduce hate crime in South Ayrshire and ensure vulnerable individuals and communities feel safe and more secure.

· Improve opportunities for people to access services and participate in community life.

Councillor Margaret Toner, portfolio holder for Lifelong Learning at South Ayrshire Council said: “This conference is a great way to find out the issues that are important to young people in South Ayrshire. It is also great working together to ensure that everyone has a voice as well as the opportunity to stand up and be counted.”

Young people took part in a number of workshops to highlight and discuss these themes in more detail. The workshops included:

· Spreading your wings - Guide to LGBT

· Talking immigration and tackling contemporary racisms

· Equality and inclusion in sport

· Anti - Stigma and transition into workplace

· Age appropriate - exploring age and rights

Kirsty McCahill, Vice Chair of South Ayrshire Youth Forum brought the event to a close and added: “It was great to see so many enthusiastic young people discussing how we can all make South Ayrshire a better place. The feedback I have had so far suggests we are all much more aware of the different groups in our communities and how we can all work together. I would like to thank everyone for their involvement.”