9th October 2012
Youth United-Ayrshire Conference – Dumfries House
‘I have long believed that every young person in the United Kingdom should have the opportunity, if they wish to, of joining a youth organization…whether through the Emergency or Military Services, conservation activities, work with the elderly, helping children with additional support needs or developing some kind of vocational skill. It was my hope that by uniting the efforts of so many dedicated organizations, as many teenagers as possible could have the opportunity to experience adventure and undertake activities which are both exciting and rewarding for themselves, but which also contribute something to our wider society.’.…HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay.’
These words and the spirit behind them has gone a long way in the last three years to expanding the vision for young people nationwide, and Youth United Ayrshire (a branch of Youth United) are a leading embodiment of this spirit. On 9th October 2012 an education conference was hosted by Youth United Ayrshire at Dumfries House, bringing together the local authorities, the member organizations, young people and volunteers alike. The conference was an opportunity to share ideas, resources, understanding and best practice in a network of people joint by a common goal. It also looked at the opportunity to combine volunteering within the member organizations with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.
Sue Lomas, Chair of the Youth United Foundation said;
‘I was delighted to attend the recent conference at Dumfries House to represent the Trustees of the Youth United Foundation. The Youth United partnership in Ayrshire provides a clear demonstration of Local Authorities and Voluntary Sector Youth Organisations working together to deliver new opportunities for local young people within school and community settings. The emerging opportunities being provided by Dumfries House and Youth United-Ayrshire look set to become an exciting template for new ways of reaching young people from all areas of our society.’
The event was the third to be organized by Youth United Ayrshire, but was a leading example to demonstrate partnership working and to explore the possibilities that the future holds for young people.
Deputy chairman of Youth United-Ayrshire and lead member of the Outdoor Centre subcommittee, Tom Mathew who facilitated the conference said;
‘The conference was a great success and this will set the stage for the opening of the new Centre in April of next year. With this in place young people can really come together to share ideas, friendship and experiences in a whole range of innovative and exciting ways such as themed environmental weekends, ‘taster days’ for those thinking of joining a youth organization, leader and volunteer camps and linking in with other Dumfries House initiatives such as the cook school, the rural skills centre, the garden project and the drawing school. We are particularly keen to explore the ideas coming from the conference from the teachers and education leads across the county about linking the uniformed youth organizations more closely with the Curriculum for Excellence.’
We look forward to the development and engagement of more young people and the creation of more partnerships up in Ayrshire as the year progresses.