The deputy head girl of a Cowal school is asking for young people’s votes in the upcoming Scottish Youth Parliament election.
Ailie Stewart, who is in her final year at Dunoon Grammar, told The Buteman: “I believe that in a society where many people mistrust politicians and people in power, it is crucial that young people show passion, empathise with others and raise their voices to empower others and help lead the next generations.
This is why I want to take a stand and raise awareness for important issues as part of the Scottish Youth Parliament.”
She added: “I also feel like in a geographically challenged constituency like Argyll and Bute, sometimes young people feel like there is nothing to do, or that they can’t get involved in as much as people from, for example, Glasgow are able to.
“I want to change this and bring exciting empowerment projects to our area, as well as represent and speak on behalf of all young people around Argyll and Bute.”
The Scottish Youth Parliament elections take place next month from March 3-17, and sees young people from all across Scotland stand as candidates to become Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs).
MSYPs range in age from 14 to 25 and represent constituencies in all 32 local authorities throughout the country, and several national voluntary organisations.
SYP was established on June 30,1999, making the organisation one day older than the Scottish Parliament.
Ailie is also keenly interested inissues affecting the environment, poverty and income inequality, and human rights.
“After trying to educate myself on the issues surrounding refugees and the crisis in countries like Syria, I felt compelled to do something,” she said. “ I signed up to be a Unicef Childrens Champion, and this role involves actively campaigning for the safe reunification of vulnerable child refugees with their families; so far I have written to our local MP to persuade him to participate in any debate in parliament that focuses on refugees, as well as contacting the Home Office to persuade them to do more for the safe transport of refugees.”
She added: “I would like to think that someone would vote for me because they feel like I’m approachable, relatable, passionate, empathetic and hard working. I would certainly show all of these traits if elected, and make sure Argyll and Bute’s interests are put at the top of the Youth Parliaments agenda.”
>>For more information on the work of the Scottish Youth Parliament, and details of those standing for election, visit www.syp.org.uk.