Region’s youth ‘a shining light’
Scotland’s First Minister praises youngsters
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was in Dumfries on Monday to launch a programme of events for Scotland’s groundbreaking Year of Young People.
She unveiled the plans at the Oasis Youth Centre.
And she said it would “shine a light on the fantastic contribution young people make” in the region and across Scotland.
The programme will champion events during 2018, including a three-day festival at Moat Brae, a STAGE IT! live events festival in Dumfries and a newly expanded two-day Youth Beatz festival.
Ms Sturgeon told the Standard it was significant to stage the launch in Dumfries for two reasons.
She said: “Firstly, to send the very clear message the Year of Young People is for all of Scotland, not just the central belt. We want the events and benefits to touch every part of Scotland.
“Secondly, because young people in Dumfries and Galloway who have been working on this programme of events have done an absolutely fantastic job, so it was my way of coming to recognise that and pay tribute to them.
“They’ve done a great job and I think in Dumfries and Galloway the Year of Young People is going to be an outstanding event.”
The First Minister, who spoke to various groups on the day, believes the region can be a great example of youth participation to other areas of Scotland.
She added: “Based on what I’ve seen today, yes, it is in many a respects a shining light.
“Some of the theatre work I’ve seen today, the performances I heard, the plans for the music festival say there is much great work being done by youth workers and young people in Dumfries and Galloway.”
Councillor Adam Wilson, the council’s Young Peoples Champion, said: “The fact the national launch happened here is really important.
“It could have happened in the SECC or at Edinburgh Castle but it’s happened here because of the work we as a local authority – along with other partners – have done to improve the lives of our young people.”
A group of young leaders called Communic18 will work with organisations throughout 2018 to deliver events.
The region’s representative Lauren Asher, 18, said: “It’s been a really good experience allowing us to show what the young people in Dumfries and Galloway can do.
“It was really good for young people here to share their work with Nicola Sturgeon.
“A lot of these events happen in Glasgow or Edinburgh, which isn’t a problem, but it’s been a real honour to have this here in Dumfries.”
Fifteen-year-old Kate Kyle, an S4 pupil at Dumfries High, performed an original song for Ms Sturgeon on just two weeks’ notice.
She said: “It was really exciting to perform for Nicola. She congratulated me afterwards and said she hopes to see me famous one day.”
Shake on it First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets youngster at the Oasis centre
All smiles First Minister was in Dumfries to launch Year of Young People events
Selfie time The First Minister grabs a photo with some of the youngsters