Young People From Across Scotland Join Forces for Young Scot’s Christmas Message

Young Scot has released its annual Christmas message starring young people from across Scotland and Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. For this year’s message, Young Scot commissioned a festive poem by talented young poet Ellen Renton.

Launched today (13th December) the video available at and features young people who each read a line of the inspirational poem. Ellen’s poem for Young Scot urges people across the country to look forward to the future after a challenging 2016 and focuses on Scotland being a welcoming nation this festive season. The festive message focuses on diversity, positivity and togetherness, and encourages people from across Scotland to open their arms to the rest of the world this Christmas.

This is only the start for the poem. Young Scot is inviting people to film themselves reading their favourite line and post it to social media using the hashtag #YSFestive while tagging three friends and challenging them to do the same

Ellen, 20, originally from Edinburgh, was approached to pen the Young Scot festive message having been awarded funding earlier this year through Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine Nurturing Talent Fund.

Ellen Renton, creator of the Young Scot Christmas poem, said: “It’s a huge honour to write this year’s Christmas message for Young Scot. My aim is to bring some positivity to lives of people across Scotland at the end of a turbulent year and focus on a bright 2017. When writing the poem, I was thinking about the warmth and vibrancy of our people and culture, and that we have a lot to be positive about.”

Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, said: “The Young Scot Christmas message this year is about people across Scotland opening their arms to the world and standing united this festive season – a message that I’m proud to support. As this year comes to an end, it’s important to look forward to and focus on a positive 2017.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said: “The story behind our Christmas message this year is positivity and togetherness and we know from our work that young people say this best themselves. We are in awe at Ellen’s incredible talent and so were delighted that she was able to write this new piece for us. Our thanks also go to the First Minister who joined us to help spread the word across Scotland and beyond.”

For more information or to read the poem in full, visit the Young Scot website at

Ellen Renton’s Website

The Young Scot Christmas message, by Ellen Renton:

Two thousand and sixteen seemed to spin with bad news,

And when headlines are hurled like harpoons

It’s hard to remember the good in the world,

But we can make this a place

Where promises are kept and fists unfurl.

Sometimes it’s all too easy to forget

That there’s always progress being made,

Maybe, we haven’t worked out everything yet

But working together sends good things our way,

You are bold, brilliant and unafraid

You are Scotland, and you are welcome.

So on Hogmanay, say ‘gie’s a hand o thine’ and mean it

Let the whole singing circle feel it,

This life’s too short to be short sighted

And outstretched arms are always needed.

With this biting winter as our witness

We’ll make a stand to stand united,

Give the gift of an open door this Christmas,

Say, get out the cold, come inside,

There’s a party back at ours

And everyone’s invited


From everyone here at Young Scot we want to say thank you to our talented young poet, Ellen Renton who was the creator of the Young Scot Christmas poem. And thanks to all the young people who took part: Cameron, Andrew, Emma, Cameron, Rebeka, Chelsea, Shannon, James (MSYP), Aislin, Finlay, Kyle, Sean, Levi, Ian, Liam, Emily, Euan, Fiona (MSYP), Lucy (MSYP), Dan, Nathan, Ross, Zoe, Hannah, Scot, Garry, Brian, Jackson, Emmie (MSYP), Isla, Abbie, Fraser, Jia, Natalie, Nicola, Katie, Rachael, Ismael, Ellen, Chris, Emily, Abdul.

An additional thank you to partners who supported the filming process including:

The Scottish Government –
The Scottish Youth Parliament –
LGBT Youth Scotland –
Police Scotland Youth Volunteers –
Deaf Action Scotland –