Young people are the future of Scotland. It is they who have the most to gain from independence and the endless opportunities it entails. It is, however, the demographic of the young that are the least connected to the Yes movement. Despite often showing the highest support for independence of any age group – with the latest poll showing a 72% support for Yes among 16-25 year olds – they are continuously poorly represented across the movement. This is a problem not just for the Yes movement but across the entirety of Scottish politics. Young people feel disenfranchised and disconnected from politics and politicians. So, how do we create a change?
Believe in Scotland Youth is a collection of young people (aged 16-26) coming together to promote the benefits of Scottish independence to Scotland’s youth. BiS Youth will integrate into the existing grassroots independence movement by focusing its efforts on helping existing Yes groups learn how to better engage young people. They will do this by understanding what issues are important to young people and getting the messaging right so that we, as the Yes movement, can have those important conversations with young people, whether they be friends, relatives, colleagues, students, or strangers we meet while campaigning. After all, it is young people that will benefit the most from independence as we build a fairer, greener and more sustainable future for Scotland.
BiS Youth member, Cameron Greer said:
“Believe in Scotland Youth is run by young people, for young people, to advocate for independence within Scotland’s young population and to highlight our issues. Young people understand the need for independence, but feel unrepresented in the independence movement. We aim to promote the many benefits of independence to young people, and to get more young people involved in the independence movement (and politics in general), regardless of party affiliation.
We create change through engaging with the wider independence movement, empowering them to talk to young people and to gain an understanding of issues facing young people, so that regardless of age, we can have those important conversations. We are the generation that will win our independence.”
What will Believe in Scotland Youth do?
BiS Youth was announced at the March and Rally for an Independent Scotland in the EU at the Scottish Parliament in back in September, where representatives shared the stage with the First Minister, Humza Yousaf, Scottish Greens Co-leader, Lorna Slater and Believe in Scotland’s founder, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp. Since then, the group has been meeting to plan and discuss its future campaigning and events.
At the upcoming Scottish Independence Congress, BiS Youth will be hosting a panel discussion with Yes groups about the best strategies to use when engaging with young people on the issue of independence. Following the Congress, they will continue to work with Yes groups on youth engagement on an ongoing basis. The aim of this is to drive youth membership and activity throughout Yes groups up and down the country.
BiS Youth will also be looking to create their own independence related content such as leaflets and videos and work to engage young people through campaigning activities – both in person and online. The leaflets will be targeted towards young people in Scotland, informing them of why independence is important to them. It will cover issues such as EU membership and free movement, the climate crisis and human rights. As for video content: we don’t want to spoil anything, so you’ll just have to wait and see.
Read our previous work on what independence has to offer the young people of Scotland here.
If you are a young person between the ages of 16 and 26 and want to take control over you and your country’s future, join Believe in Scotland Youth. To join please Click here.
Follow BiS Youth:
Facebook: Believe in Scotland Youth