The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people.
Young people aged 14-25 can stand as a candidate in SYP elections, held every two years. Two seats in the SYP are reserved for members of RNIB Scotland's Haggeye youth forum. This ensures those who are blind or partially sighted have a voice too.
Read what motivated Claire Forde from Greenock to stand as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP). You can also hear Claire speak about this on RNIB Connect Radio.
We currently have two MSYPs, Eilidh Morrison, who was re-elected in November 2021, and Kerry Burke who stood for the first time that month. Part of the role of MSYPs is to participate in SYP committees and propose motions that will make a difference to the lives of young people in Scotland.
Both Eilidh and Kerry will present motions during SYP sittings and their fellow MSYPs can vote in favour of their proposals. This means our Haggeye MSYPs are working away to try and implement change within Scotland.
Claire Forde, who has stood down as a Haggeye MSYP, tabled a SYP motion on the introduction of mandatory sight loss awareness training across all sectors. To support this work, Claire produced a series of videos calling for MSPs in the Scottish Parliament to better understand the needs of those who are blind or partially sighted and advise how they can support their constituents with sight loss. You can find out more here.
Eilidh's also had a motion passed calling for assistance dog owners the same freedoms they enjoyed under the Pet Passport Scheme prior to Brexit.
If you would like to find out more about any of these projects, please get in touch: [email protected].
The latest round of elections for the Scottish Youth Parliament were held in November 2021. Two Haggeye candidates stood. Eilidh Morrison was re-elected and Kerry Burke was a first-time candidate.
"I want to be a MSYP because as a visually impaired person I have spent my life fighting for my rights. The world isn’t set up for blind people and as a meme we of the Scottish Youth Parliament I want to change this. 26% of blind people leave school with the grades they want. This is due to QTVI’s (Qualified teachers for the visually impaired) dropping in 80% in the last seven years then this impacts on employment as 1 in 5 blind and partially sighted people have a part time job. I want to get equality for blind people and make Scotland a better, more inclusive place for blind people."
You can listen to Eilidh's RNIB Connect Radio interview here.
"I see becoming a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament as a fantastic opportunity to not only learn in a hands-on environment how to make a difference, but also in a general life sense by building my confidence in standing up for what I believe, appreciating communication and teamwork through achieving change together, as well as pushing myself to strive outside of my comfort zone. I am not only intrigued by our legal system, but the affects these can have on a social, physical and mental level to the country, which is why becoming a member seems like the perfect chance for me to explore and understand these topics in a deeper way. I have always naturally tried to find ways to make a difference for the better. Joining the youth parliament is an excellent way for me to attain the goal of being more involved."
Listen to Kerry's interview on RNIB Connect Radio here.
You can read more Eilidh and Kerry's full profiles on the SYP website.
To find out more, or to contact your current MSYP, contact:
Email: [email protected]