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It’s Giving Evidence: Our Trip to London

MSYPs and the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee. Back row: Alan Brown MP, David Duguid MP, Wendy Chamberlain MP, Pete Wishart MP, Douglas Ross MP and Michael Shanks MP. Front row: Mollie McGoran, Ellie Craig MSYP, Olivia Brown MSYP, Abbie Wright and Ewan Knight MSYP.
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Last week, on Monday 5th February, several of SYP’s representatives – Mollie McGoran, Ellie Craig, Olivia Brown, Abbie Wright and Ewan Knight – travelled down to London to give evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee in Westminster. We spoke and were asked questions about the UNCRC and meaningful participation, and we talked about our campaigns on climate change and the right to food. Here are our reflections from our trip…

Mollie McGoran MSYP

It was such a privilege to speak to the Scottish Affairs Committee about SYP’s history and most importantly our future! SYP was founded by youth workers and young people in 1999, one day before the Scottish Parliament (a fact we always love to shout about!) We also got to talk about our diversity and inclusion work, my favourite topic, and about our amazing National Voluntary Organisations!

The overall trip was so exciting! We managed to tour the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the beautiful Westminster Hall, and found our names in the summary papers for the day! We also saw a lot of London, the London Eye, Big Ben and the fantastic Battersea Power Station which was so fun to explore!

Ellie Craig MSYP

I had an amazing time on Monday giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee! I spoke on few topics such as UNCRC Incorporation and the need for the UK government to incorporate this nationally to ensure children and young people’s rights are fully protected, respected, and fulfilled.

– Ellie Craig MSYP

I also made sure to highlight one of my favourite resources from The Right Way project, our ‘AIM’ checklists, to ensure all participation is accessible, inclusive and meaningful.

My favourite part was getting the opportunity to speak with the committee and raise such important issues for young people. But I also really enjoyed exploring London the night before and playing mini golf – which I won at!

Olivia Brown MSYP

Chatting to the committee about SYP and the importance of our work was such a unique and enjoyable experience. I emphasised particularly the need for a more positive rights-based culture in the UK and how robust policymaking is in SYP. It was also a pleasant surprise to be asked about my own constituency, Midlothian North and Musselburgh!

Visiting London was really exciting, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to do it with. I’m looking forward to Westminster developing its relationship with SYP, so another group of young people get to have this experience one day too.

Abbie Wright MSYP

It was fantastic to be invited to speak to the Scottish Affairs Committee in Westminster about SYP and youth participation. We spoke about SYP and how we work as an organisation, the UNCRC, Right to Food, national voluntary organisations (one of my favourite topics!) climate and more! The committee seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say which was lovely, and they even invited us back which is amazing!

Abbie Wright MSYP

Whilst in London we also had a tour of Parliament, and it was amazing to see where everything happens. My favourite bit was seeing the debating chambers – although they were much smaller than I thought they would be! Thank you to the committee for having us!

Ewan Knight MSYP

It was fantastic to be able to give evidence to the Scottish Affairs Committee on Monday. I was really pleased to be able to discuss why it is so important for young people to have meaningful participation with politics, as well as discussing why there are also barriers to this.

The whole trip was a great experience, it was really great to have a tour of Westminster Palace and see it for the first time. But, of course, my favourite part was speaking to the committee, we are all so passionate about what we were discussing and to share that with MPs was amazing.

If you want to find out more about our Members giving evidence to the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee, you can watch the full session on ParliamentLive.tv, or read the transcript.

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