Youth Lead the way

YMCA Tayside’s Youth Voice group, with support from Perth and Kinross Council, The Gannochy Trust, and The Universal Youth Work Partnership, recently held a youth conference at St. John’s Community Campus. The event brought together young people from across Perth and Kinross to have their voices heard on the big topics of mental health, climate change, and discrimination.

Keynote Speakers Thomas Glen (PKC CEO), Mike Robinson (RSGS CEO), Emily McGregor and Nicole Rattray (COP26 Local Champions), and Sharon Thomas (Managing Director at The Lighthouse) gave excellent talks which were then followed by the young people breaking into smaller groups, discussing the topics, and then providing feedback.  

Thomas Glen commented, ‘I was delighted to be invited and speak with young people about their role in tackling discrimination, the importance of recognising we all have mental health challenges and a contribution to tackling the climate change emergency we face’.

The day was a great success, with the young people highly engaged and providing some excellent thoughts throughout. Conversations ranged from how ineffective reporting discriminatory behaviour is, to the way that school meals are unnecessarily packaged, to how young people feel there aren’t enough adults trained in mental health support for them to speak to.

The hope going forward is that having had these issues raised by over 45 young people from all over Perth & Kinross will in turn inform the forthcoming PKC Youth Strategy.

The day was primarily organised by YMCA Tayside Youth Voice members Tyler McCauley, Vicky Goodwin, Ellie Sinclair, Ellie Gilmour, Jack Wilkie, Layla Riddoch and Ashley Byrne.