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Highland Youth Parliament (HYP) will hold its annual conference on June 24 and 25 at Inverness College UHI campus.
This year’s event offers young people the opportunity to explore how they can engage with Highland Council in their local areas to contribute to efforts to tackle climate change. NHS Highland and Waverley Care will also be there to provide feedback on a sexual health and access-to-condoms initiative called C-Card.
The conference is a celebration of young people in the Highland region and their interests. This year’s theme is young peoples’ Right to Freedom of Expression, and there will be sessions on mental health, climate change, education – with the Highland Council’s Head of Education – Highland Children’s Forum’s Inspire Group and the Grow2gether teenage pregnancy project.
Esme Leitch, Highland Youth Convener, said of the conference that it ‘is a huge asset to youth participation in Highland, and an event that is looked forward to by young people from across the region.’
She went on to say that she ‘is really excited to hear some of the conversations that come from the sessions covering the big topics like climate change and mental health.”
The HYP comprises young people from all 29 Secondary Schools in the Highland region and local Youth Forum and the conference is led by young people. It attracts around 80 youngsters from across the Highlands, who meet with service directors, lead officers and elected members from Highland Council, High Life Highland and partner agencies, with the aim of influencing decision making that impacts young people in the Highlands.
The conference will also be attended by representatives from Argyll and Bute and Western Isles councils who wish to learn more about HYP and the Highland Youth Convener’s role.
A draft of the new Highland Youth Work Strategy, a paper created by a multi-sector working group that has the support of the youth convener and High Life Highland and is co-produced with young people, will be presented for comment and renewal by the Parliament, before it is considered by Highland Council at its August round of meetings.
The Northern Alliance (NA) Youth Conference, which involves 70 young people from across all eight local authorities that make up the NA, will be held in addition to the Highland Youth Parliament conference.