Since I was little, I have lived in Dumfries, a small town in the South-West of Scotland. Compared to many towns and cities, we are very rural!
This year I have had the honour to represent my young people on the co-design group Communic18 and have been given the opportunity to help design this year for the region’s young people.
Through this work, I have had my eyes opened to the challenges facing young people in my area. I have seen first-hand how difficult it can be to attend events when suffering from a mental health condition, I have learned about the challenges faced by young people who are living in poverty, I have seen the difficulties faced by young people who cannot get transport to activities and I have witnessed the daily struggle young people with additional support needs face to engage in events.
But what do all of these groups of young people have in common? They all want to be included. Each and every young person I have met has wanted to have the chance to participate, to be involved and to try new things. They are held back by the situation they find themselves in, because for them, these events aren’t accessible or inclusive.
This year, I want to change that. I want everyone to be able to participate and be given the opportunities I have access to. I want this year to be accessible to all.
You can help me do this. All it takes is a couple of extra measures that will enable all young people to participate. Free transport from central locations in rural areas, an understanding from the start that you can step out when you need to, free meals and refreshments during the event, disabled access and inclusive language used at events. This will change young people’s lives for the better throughout 2018 if these measures are put in place.
Will you help?