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Highland's New Young People's Champion

Issued: 9 Aug 2007

Gillian Slider from Ullapool this week took up her new full-time role as the Highland's Youth Convener. Seventeen year old Gillian will be the sounding board for youth issues in the Highlands and will have a direct line into policy makers and decision takers and will be a member of The Highland Council's Education Culture and Sport Committee, with full voting powers.

Gillian is the first full-time Youth Convener in Scotland.

Gillian, who recently completed her studies at Ullapool High School, will be based at the Council's Inverness headquarters but will also work with partner agencies. She will hold the position for one year. Another Youth Convener will be appointed when Gillian completes her contract.

In her new role Gillian will:

  • help with the Council's co-ordination and communication with other young people;
  • offer a consistent link for members and officials to informally seek their views; and
  • attend Council meetings where appropriate.

Gillian comes to this position with a lengthy experience in youth affairs. Since June 2007 she has been a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament representing Ross, Skye and Inverness West and is the Parliament's Convener of Transport, Environment & Rural Affairs.

She is passionate about improving the lives of young people throughout Scotland and is involved in many other youth organisations such as Highland Youth Voice, Ross and Cromarty Youth Forum and Youth Bank.

At Ullapool High School, Gillian was on the Student Council and the pupil representative on the School Board. This year she has achieved a Young Quality Scot Award for the work she has carried out in her local community and was a finalist for the communities category at the Young Scot 2007 Awards.

Gillian said: "I am delighted to be the first Highland Youth Convener. I am looking forward to serving the interests of all our young people in the Highlands and to the challenges that this exciting new role brings."

Council Convener Councillor Sandy Park said: "Having sat on the appointments' panel, I am fully aware of Gillian's ability to represent fully the views of young people. She will offer an important new dimension to the policy making and decision making process."

Vice Convener Councillor Jean Urquhart, who lives in Ullapool, said: "I have no doubt that Gillian will prove a most able and persuasive champion for young people. We look forward to working with her."

Each Council Service is to nominate an officer to liaise with the Youth Convener and youth work staff in the Education Culture and Sport Service.

The Council already supports young people's involvement through the Highland Youth Voice, the democratically elected youth parliament for 14-18 year-olds; Area Youth Forums; and Pupil Councils in all schools.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme