Youth exchange is wunderbar

The youngsters at Mount Stuart on Bute.
The youngsters at Mount Stuart on Bute.

A Youth exchange programme between Argyll and Bute and Germany has proved such a success it is set to continue.

Young people from Bute and Oban will travel to Bavaria next year to spend a week with a group of German teenagers, following a revival of youth exchanges between Argyll and Bute and Amberg-Sulzbach, which are twinned.

Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: “In 2016, when a group of local youngsters visited Germany on the first leg of an exchange, it was the first time in 20 years such a visit had taken place. It went brilliantly and when we hosted the return visit at Easter this year, it became clear that everyone involved wanted it to continue.

“Our young people have been the perfect ambassadors for Argyll and Bute and I know they will be again.”

The youngsters have stayed in touch and two young women from Argyll and Bute have already travelled to stay with friends they met on the exchange. The group is also working towards an SQA accredited award from Youth Scotland, for their involvement in the exchange.

Jennifer Murray from the Bute group, said: “It was interesting to see the differences between Scotland and Germany in the health and wellbeing survey results. I really enjoyed the gorge walk but the highlight was being able to show the Germans around Bute and my home town of Rothesay.”

Following this year’s visit the Bute youngsters were also invited to do a presentation to Rothesay Rotary Club, which helped fund the exchange.

Funding for the project came from Argyll and Bute Council, Argyll and Bute Trust, Foundation Scotland, Argyll and Bute Wellbeing Network, Bute Drugs and Alcohol Forum, Bute Common Good Fund, Bute and Rothesay Rotary Club. In-kind support was provided by Historic Scotland and Mount Stuart Educational Trust.