First-hand youth engagement and behind the scenes planning: week two for our research volunteer
19 July 2019
My first week at Children in Scotland was brilliant – little did I know my second week would be even better!
I have seen a lot of different sides to what Children in Scotland does this past week. I have seen first-hand youth engagement through the UNCRC discussion day, and also the behind the scenes planning that enforces the values of Children in Scotland.
I started the week with a busy day. I finished off some key parts of the digital mapping of what is happening with the environment and climate change throughout Scotland. The research has made me feel so proud to be a young person in Scotland, with some of the best climate change activists in the nation.
However, further research did give me an insight into the gaps that exist. I made sure to include this in my report, as I believe it is important to include both the good and not so good areas within current environmental work.
I then had the pleasure of doing some research into “hot topics”, highlighted areas of life that affect children and young people that were identified by Children in Scotland’s Changing our World children and young people's advisory panel. It was great to see that the young people involved with the panel have identified some of the important areas of work that are close to me and also areas that I wouldn’t have thought of.
The next day was also busy, but a very enjoyable day. I continued my work on the hot topics identified by the advisory panel, and collated my research into a PowerPoint, which I will present to the young people at their next meeting.
I think it’s great that I have the opportunity to present first-hand to my peers as I believe peer engagement plays a big role in youth work. Later on that day I got to observe the UNCRC discussion day that was taking part in the office with children and young people from all over Scotland. It was amazing to have the opportunity to be on the other side of the discussions, rather than giving my opinion, I was listening to the opinions of my peers.
The whole day was amazing; the room was set up wonderfully, the children and young people had a great time, gave great opinions back and I learnt so much about leading a discussion like that and also how to take a step back and learn from others. It is also fair to mention that I was in bed by 9:30pm and I now know how much of a toll it takes on the staff to run a day like that!
The next day was definitely more relaxed. I had an excellent meeting with Lisa Clark who is the senior communications officer and membership lead. She reviewed recommendations that I made about how children and young people could get involved in using Children in Scotland's social media for the upcoming Members' Networking event, which is themed around children’s rights and participation.
It was great to see that the whole communications team is so dedicated to giving young people the opportunity to develop their social media skills.
I then had a three-hour department meeting, which once again gave me the opportunity to be at the table sharing my newfound knowledge, experiences and opinions.
In conclusion this week has truly made me feel like a member of the office. As well as getting my name on the 'in/out' attendance board (!), I have had the chance to meet and work with young people. It has also truly amazed me to see all the different roles that help to keep the organisation running, while they all want the same thing; the best for children and young people in Scotland.
About the author
Hope is 15-years-old and lives in Orkney. She is currently the MSYP for Orkney and one of the children’s commissioner’s young advisors. She is also on the Technology Enabled Care panel with Young Scot.
Hope is working with Children in Scotland for four weeks on a work experience placement. She enjoys politics, international law, feminism and languages. She also enjoys working with youth engagement and tackling diversity.