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Highland Youth Voice conference to discuss equality and diversity

Issued: 8 Nov 2010

Highland Youth Voice, the elected youth parliament for the Highlands, meets this week (11 - 13 November 2010) at Badaguish near Aviemore.

The conference has been planned by Youth Voice members to promote the diversity of young people living in the highlands and look at issues affecting their inclusion in democracy and decision making.

Newly elected Youth Voice members from across the highlands will attend, as they begin their two year term of office, representing young people in schools, youth forums and community groups in their areas.

The conference delegates will also be joined by members of the Joint Committee on Children and Young People, who will be meeting at Badaguish on Friday 12 November, before joining workshops to see Highland Youth Voice in action.

Highland Councillor and Children's Champion Jaci Douglas, said: "I am really excited to have the Highland Youth Voice conference here in Badaguish and for the Joint Committee on Children and Young People to be holding its meeting here as well. It's great for the young people to come here to the Cairngorms National Park and enjoy all that we have to offer here while discussing what is important to them. It's also always good when strategic committees of The Highland Council are held in places outside of Inverness.

"The HYV conference is such a great opportunity for young people to share their opinions and experiences and the theme of Equality and Diversity covers a really interesting and important issue. I am really looking forward to attending as many sessions as I can and listening to our young people's views and ideas."

Workshops will be run by Highland Council staff and specialist external agencies, including Action for Children and Waverley Care. Representatives for Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People will be facilitating a session enabling young people to vote on key issues affecting them. An 'Open Mic' session will give Youth Voice members the opportunity to discuss other issues of importance to young people in Highland.

Outgoing members of the Highland Youth Voice Executive Committee will be running working groups to pass on skills gained during their term in office; a new Executive Committee will be voted in at the culmination of the conference.

Highland Youth Convener Gemma Mackintosh said: "It looks like this is going to be another excellent conference. We've got a lot of interesting topics to cover and I think we should see some good debates. I am especially looking forward to welcoming our newly elected school members and allowing them to experience the great times our previous members have had at conferences."

There will be entertainment provided by Youth Voice members and a ceilidh with local musicians on the Friday night.

Highland Youth Voice is managed by The Highland Council and it gives young people a chance to have their say and meet decision makers.

For further information, please contact Ian Abbot, Senior Youth Development Officer, Education, Culture and Sport Service, The Highland Council on 07766 388445.

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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme