Newsletter 4
November 2001
The summer is over, the first term of school has flown past and the October holidays have vanished in the blink of an eye, and now just round the corner is our first birthday! And the Youth Voice returns to Carbisdale. Can you believe it's been a whole year since we were there? I certainly can't. Back to the rickety bunk beds, the semi-naked statues and that
really 'nice' painting on the stairs. And oh yeah, donít forget the Ghost, to be honest I cant remember it's name, oh well I guess I'll have to go on that tour again then. If youíre a new member you've got a lot to be looking forward to!
The Highland Youth Voice was conceived at the Right Here, Right Now, conference back in 1999. And since then, a lot has been happening? Yes really it has. But let's have a think back to the first meeting of all elected representatives. Carbisdale was a HUGE success, there was fireworks, a ceilidh, tours of the castle, juggling, some of the best grub I've ever seen, walks (to burn off those calories), Tai Chi, a disco (good part?), scavenger hunt, and oh yeah those workshop things, can't remember much of those, I was trying to catch up on my sleep during them.

The fun and jokes aside the workshops really were a benefit to all that attended even the adults? Evaluation forms contained positive opinions on how your individual confidence, and overall confidence as Young People was increased (you know you are meant to be truthful in these sort of things)

Main points raised in workshops meant that we could discuss our top four priorities at debate. Workshops allowed us to meet other young people and decision- makers.

There were loads of different opinions, all part of it I guess, and the debate allowed us all to have a good argue, get it off our chests, mind you we should try and keep it to strictly Youth Voice matters in future.

But what about the bad things I hear you cry! Now what bad things would that be? There weren't any bad bits were there?

Yeah I've got admit there was a bit of hanging about etc, but donít worry people that has all been sorted for this meeting, just wait until you see what we have for you, hee hee hee. Mind you those early starts are a problem, but there's nowt we can do about it. Just go to bed earlier! Nah actually donít, just sleep when you get home.

So this next meeting has a lot to live up to, not only living up to Carbisdale, but also to the outstanding event at Strathpeffer.

And don't worry we'll try and keep it real (you know who you are!!)


David Ridgeway and Calum Duncan were present at a recent website meeting. The aim of the meeting was to have a look at the website and to put forward opinions and to answer questions about the site. The meeting was with the International Teledemocracy Centre people who are designing and making the website.

A prototype of the website was looked at and so far the outcome looks very exciting. It should be good to see the positive work that comes from the website development group's meeting at Carbisdale.

National Drugs and

Communities Conference

On the 28th of September myself, and Ashley Fraser attended the National Drugs and Communities Conference in Edinburgh. The idea for this conference was to bring together some of the groups working towards a drug free Scotland and gather their ideas about what the Scottish exec should be working towards and how to bring it about. We felt it necessary to attend not only to gather new ideas and hear view points but to show that the youth voice should be considered as a veritable force in the fight against drugs.

On arrival at the conference I was shocked to find that there were only three people under the age of eighteen in attendance and two of them were from youth voice. Comments were made however that other areas should follow highland's example and set up groups such as youth voice so that young people are better represented especially on issues as important as drugs on a national level.

There were various workshops at the conference but Ashley and I chose to attend the Drugs and Young People workshops for obvious reasons. Here we were confronted with a wide spectrum of opinions on an equally broad range of subjects. Some people had a very negative view towards the drug takers themselves arguing it was entirely their choice but most accepted the point that it was the government and local councils' duty to provide services which would hopefully divert youths away from

drugs. Other points were also made about how information on drug abuse should become more available and people looking to get of drugs should be able to do so without being criticised and condemned by society.

Youth voice itself got a lot of attention

during our workshop through people who wanted to know what we were doing, people who wanted to set up similar schemes and also someone from Scotland Against Drugs offered us help to apply for a grant.

At the end of the conference everyone was in agreement that there was still much to be done in order to get the drugs situation under control but thanks to organisations like S.A.D and Youth Voice the Scottish Exec's job will be a lot easier.

Richard Belbin

School Surgeries

You should soon be receiving information regarding the set up of surgeries within your school. These Surgeries are going to enable the Youth Voice to tackle issues that NEED to be tackled. The surgery will run like a drop in centre. If a pupil has an issue that they would like raised with the Youth Voice they can drop in and visit their representative in a classroom in your school and then that representative will pass on the information. It is obvious that there is a need to get the wider view of all of the Young people in the Highlands. A few schools have already held them to see how they went and everything seemed to go well.


A lot has happened since our last meeting in June at Strathpeffer, not only Youth Voice matters but also we would also like to say congratulations to our good friend Fiona who was just recently married!! She always manages to make us smile in times of desperation and stress when everything looks like going terribly wrong. So its goodbye to Miss Fiona Mackenzie and hello to Mrs Fiona Richardson


Is there anything that you would like to see included in the newsletter? Is there anything you would like to write about so that the rest of the Youth Voice can see it? If so all you have to do is ask. Send us what you want included and we'll do our very very very best to make sure it gets put in.

Your Letters!

If you've got opinions, comments, on any issue that you have seen raised in this newsletter in past newsletters or on the newsletter itself or just in general life in your area, then send you letters to:

Youth Voice Newsletter

C/o Chief Executives office

Highland Council

Glenurquhart Road


And that goes for anything that you would like to see included in the newsletter as well.

Useful Contacts

Veronica McKay

Youth Development Officer

( 01463 702026


Fiona Richardson

Youth Development Assistant

( 01463 702013

The Executive Committee

  • JP Campbell, Inverness Royal Academy
  • Richard MacPherson, Alness Academy
  • Matthew McKune, Glenurquhart High
  • Ashley Fraser, Nairn Academy
  • Calum Duncan, Inverness Royal Academy
  • Fiona Topping, Wick High
  • Anne-Louise Marrs, Millburn Academy
  • David Ridgeway, Dornoch Academy
  • Judith Riddell, Tain Royal Academy
  • Zoe Morgan, Plockton High
  • Richard Belbin, Kinlochbervie High