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Charity announces LGBTQ+ social history project to capture young people’s stories

Posted 27.04.23 by Alice Hinds

A new community archive project has been announced to document the lives of LGBTQ+ young people living in Scotland.

Launched by charity LGBT Youth Scotland, the (Un)Seen, (Un)Heard project will see young Scots come together to “capture, collate and conserve” their personal stories, creating an archive of experiences for future generations to learn from, share and enjoy.

Over the next three years, experiences of work, family, health, education and community will be documented through film, photography, audio and text, then shared through a national digital exhibition. Working in partnership with national archivists, the project will then be professionally archived to create an “accessible, engaging and enduring” resource, which represents the voices of young people around the country.

While a number of LGBTQ+ social history collections are already held by a range of organisations and museums throughout Scotland, the charity says few resources feature young people’s voices. (Un)Seen, (Un)Heard will help to connect people of all ages and strengthen communities, while also informing current and future policymakers.

Announcing the project, the charity said: “We believe it is vital to capture the experiences of LGBTQ+ young people – an important part of recording the social history of the LGBTQ+ community in Scotland and considering where that experience is shared and where it is different from other young people.

“Additionally, the hard-won progress of LGBTQ+ rights over the past 20 years has been stalled by the current debate on the rights of trans individuals and this combined with the pandemic had led to a time-sensitive need. Young people tell us that being LGBTQ+ means they face barriers to achieving their full potential in education, work, relationships, and that Scotland does not feel like a safe and inclusive place to live, love or learn.

“We know that visibility gives a crucial sense of security and belonging to LGBTQ+ individuals and that it helps to destigmatise different identities in their wider community.”

Celebrating 20 years as Scotland’s national charity for LGBTQ+ young people, this month, LGBT Youth Scotland unveiled a new five-year strategy, co-designed with the Youth Reference Group (YRG). Informed by research and developed alongside young people aged 13–25, the strategic goals for the charity include changing lives through youth work, influencing change through young people’s voices, and improving lives through partnerships and inclusive environments.

The future vision, the charity says, will be achieved through working with partners to create a more inclusive Scotland, where LGBTQ+ young people have better opportunities to belong, flourish and thrive.

Click here for more information on LGBT Youth Scotland website:

Photo. A girl is taking a book from a bookshelf in a library. She is wearing a pink hooded top and wearing a rucksack.

News: New funding for Scottish school libraries

Posted 11 Jan, 2023 by Jennifer Drummond

School libraries across Scotland have been awarded funding from the School Library Improvement Fund (SLIF) for projects focusing on anti-racism, diversity and racial equality.

The Fund, administered by the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) was launched by the Scottish Government in 2017.

Available to all state run Scottish nursery, primary and secondary schools the fund supports creative and innovative projects within the school library sector.

In 2022-23 funding totalling £200,000 is being awarded to 18 initiatives in 10 local authorities.

Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive of the Scottish Library and Information Council, said:

“School libraries play a valuable role in education and learning and ensuring every young person has the chance to fulfil their full potential. Projects funded through prigrammes like SLIF help to improve and expand the services school libraries can provide, so it’s great to see such strong applications coming in from schools eager to develop these resources.

“We are particularly proud to award support to those advocating for anti-racism and anti-discrimination through this year’s Fund and we can’t wait to see these initiatives come to fruition.”

Commenting on the awards this year, Education Secretary, Shirley-Anne Somerville also praised the focus on anti-racism and the role of school libraries in engaging with young people on the importance of belonging, inclusion and social justice.

Click here for a full list of all the schools and projects awarded funding

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Q&A with Susie Heywood: Tackling gender stereotypes

Posted 28 June, 2022 by Jennifer Drummond

Ahead of her webinar in July, Susie reflects on how gender and public health issues are intrinsically linked and the importance of counter-balancing harmful societal stereotypes

For the past four years Susie Heywood has committed to developing an approach to tackle gender inequality across Scotland. Along with Barbara Adzajlic, she created and delivered the acclaimed Gender Friendly Nursery programme for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, designed to improve gender equality and raise awareness of the harmful impacts of gender stereotypes from a public health perspective.

To build on its success, she launched the new Gender Friendly Scotland website and will shortly be publishing a book on the topic of gender stereotypes in the early years.

Here, she shares the importance of recognising the long-term, harmful impact of gender stereotyping on physical, emotional and mental wellbeing and why it’s so crucial for early years professionals to help change the narrative.

You are a firm believer that many of the public health issues we face are rooted in gender inequality and that challenging the narrative will help progress change. Can you tell me more? 

Both Barbara and I have a professional background in public health which is why we make these links. We know that gender inequality is a root cause of violence against women and girls and that the stereotype of the strong, tough, self-sufficient man, which starts early with messages like “boys don’t cry” plays a role in the elevated rates of suicide that we see amongst men compared with women.

We know that the drip feed of messages to girls around the importance of their appearance leads to issues around self-esteem, participation in sports, body image and disordered eating.

Other areas like poverty, educational attainment, career destinations, mental health and others are all relevant to these gendered ideas and pressures too.

It can be argued there has been a significant shift in understanding over the last decade and more willingness to challenge standing stereotypes and change the narrative, evidenced in the work you do and through national movements and campaigns such as Let Toys be Toys and Let Clothes by Clothes.  Is this your experience? Are we making progress?

I think we are making progress. The number of people who seem to be catching on to this agenda has certainly increased, and we have seen many early years settings really embrace the learning we have shared, so that’s really encouraging.

However,  these gendered attitudes and ideas are so ingrained that it’s going to take a while to really reach the cultural change that needs to happen – but I think we are seeing signs that we are on the right track.

It is of course important to remember that gender stereotypes are only one of many ways that children can be limited and put into boxes – as a society we still have a long way to go when it comes to things like racism, disability and neurodiversity for example.

The event you are running with us is entitled Challenging Gender Stereotypes: How to change the narrative. What are you hoping those in attendance will take away from the session?

I hope they leave with an understanding of why it’s important that we challenge gender stereotypes, particularly with young children, as well as a sense of why doing this benefits everyone. This is not a siloed issue. Gender stereotypes don’t just impact one particular group in society, though they do affect us all in different ways.

Secondly, I hope that they feel equipped with ideas of how they can make a difference for children – by both reducing their exposure to gender stereotypes and by providing a counter-balance to the messages that society hammers home to us from birth about what it means to be a boy or a girl. At the end of the day this is all about ensuring that children aren’t limited by these messages – that they can dream big and free.

Susie will be leading the event Challenging gender stereotypes: how to change the narrative, held online on Tuesday 26 July.
Click here to find out more and book

Challenging Gender Stereotypes in the Early Years: Changing the Narrative by Susie Heywood and Barbara Adzajlic will be published in September 2022 by Routledge Education.

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Comment: 'We all have a story worth sharing and celebrating'

Posted 24 June, 2022 by Jennifer Drummond

As Refugee Week 2022 draws to a close, Jillian McBride (pictured) reflects on the importance of helping young refugees or young asylum seekers find an outlet to share their experiences

This Refugee Week comes at a time when the United Nations estimates that 100 million people across the world are experiencing displacement. These are people who come from all walks of life, many of them children.

Every one of these 100 million people has a unique story to tell. We all have a story, and we believe that these diverse stories are worth sharing and celebrating. That’s why the theme of this year’s Refugee Festival Scotland is stories.

But telling your story can be more difficult for children going through the asylum system.

We are very  proud to work with a range of partners and communities across Scotland to try to remove some of the barriers in the way of young people raising their voices.

Scottish Refugee Festival 2022 highlights

One highlight from the Festival was the showcase from Standing Tall Stories. Standing Tall Stories is a long-running partnership between the Scottish Guardianship Service and Standing Tall Arts which creates spaces for unaccompanied young people to be creative, get involved with art and make friends.

As part of Refugee Festival Scotland, and in celebration of Refugee Week internationally, a number of young people from the Guardianship Service have been working with artists to produce an interesting and diverse range of creative stories through different artistic mediums.

The three main strands to Standing Tall Stories are photography, filmmaking and rap.

Peter Masambuku, aka PAQUE, a Congolese born Glasgow rapper and songwriter, has been working with members of the group. PAQUE has introduced the young people to the craft of song writing, teaching his tips and tricks to find rhymes and construct bars with flow. Through their lyrics the young people have explored themes around the daily pressures of life and their motivation to succeed.

The showcase was a fantastic display of the talents and creativity of young people and included pieces produced in workshops throughout the year, Afro-fusion food and music from the Glasgow African Balafon Orchestra.

In addition, Young People’s Voices, a new group run by the Scottish Guardianship Service (a partnership between Aberlour Children’s Charity and Scottish Refugee Council), aims to remove some of the barriers children face in making their voices heard.

The group has been meeting since November 2021 to discuss the issues that matter to young people, from access to education, Home Office procedures, health and many more.

Policy progress

This Refugee Week, we’ve seen several headlines about the UK’s responses to conflict and instability around the world.

In the same week the UK Government announced that children affected by the conflict from Ukraine will be allowed to seek safety in the UK unaccompanied.

This scheme is only open to children who have already applied to come to the UK through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, where people fleeing Ukraine are placed with private sponsors. There are already 1,000 children waiting.

Local authorities will perform safety checks on potential hosts and the hosts should be known to the parents, except in exceptional circumstances.

This is a really welcome announcement to come during Refugee Week. Excluding lone children from entering the Homes for Ukraine scheme only increased vulnerability to exploitation and trafficking.

Our experience of working with child refugees is that it can be extremely difficult for a child to raise concerns about their care. While for many a home environment will be nurturing, some young people may be living with adults they don’t know well.

Ongoing support is absolutely crucial to build the confidence of a child being cared for in these difficult circumstances.

Throughout the past year, the young people we work with through our communities and the Scottish Guardianship Service have shown remarkable resilience, strength and creativity. It’s been a real privilege to play a part in sharing their stories this Refugee Week.

Jillian McBride is Children’s Rights Officer at the Scottish Refugee Council.

The Scottish Refugee Festival, organised  by the Scottish Refugee Council, runs until Sunday 26 June.

Click here to find out more about the Scottish Refugee Council 

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Comment: Best place to grow up? Not for Scotland's LGBTI young people

Posted 25 May, 2022 by Jennifer Drummond

New research from LGBT Youth Scotland indicates a concerning decline in the positive experiences of LGBTI young people across Scotland. Paul Daly (pictured) reflects on the key findings from the important work – and what needs to happen next.

Last month, LGBT Youth Scotland published our flagship research ‘Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People 2022’ (click here to accessdetailing what young people across the country said it was like to be an LGBTI young person in Scotland.

The report is the result of data gathering up and down the country, encouraging young people aged 13-25 who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex (LGBTI) to share their experiences. The survey is completely voluntary and totally anonymous.

We received more than 1,200 responses – almost double from the last time the research was carried out.

We asked respondents questions relating to community, coming out, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, hate crime, healthcare, education and representation in the media.

Conducted every five years, we now have data spanning 15 years, allowing us to identify what is getting better, or worse and target our work accordingly.

Unfortunately, our survey showed overall that most things are getting worse for LGBT young people. Some are worse than they have ever been.

A steep decline  

For 10 years it looked like things were getting better. When asked if Scotland was a good place to grow up, there was a steady increase in the percentage of respondents who agreed with this statement. In 2017, four out of five LGBTI young people said Scotland was a good place to be LGBTI. However, in the 2022 responses,  there has been a significant drop. That’s true for all respondents and worse still for respondents who identified as trans. Now, nearly a third of LGBTI young people don’t think Scotland is a good place to live. This increases to two in five trans young people.

The pandemic is likely to have played a part in this decline. However, we framed questions so that respondents think about their responses first in the context of being LGBTI.

If you’ve read a newspaper, watched the news or spent any time on social media in the past five years, you will no doubt be aware of the so-called ‘culture war’ that has been escalating. Initially focused on questioning the legitimacy and the rights of trans people in public spaces, the debate has widened to broader LGBTI and equalities issues. This will undoubtedly impact how safe and welcome LGBTI young people feel.

Following a similar pattern across the past 15 years, pre-2017 respondents thought transphobia had been reducing. However, between 2017 and 2022 the number of respondents who thought transphobia was a big problem in Scotland has rocketed and is now worse than it has been since our survey began. The vast majority of participants believe homophobia, biphobia and transphobia to be a problem both across Scotland as a whole and in their local area.

In addition:

  • Only 10% of participants rated the experience of school for LGBT people as ‘good’
  • 70% of gay/lesbian participants report experiencing bullying at school as a result of their sexual orientation
  • Just 11% of young people who experienced a hate crime reported it to the police.

Slow progress

Whilst this is incredibly worrying, we did see a couple of areas that showed progress has been made.

The percentage of LGBTI young people who felt forced out of their homes under negative circumstances has HALVED. We also saw an increase in the number of respondents who received a supportive reaction to coming out (from 75% in 2017 to 82% in 2022).

Call to action

Some things we are doing in Scotland is making things better for LGBTI young people – but we have a lot more work to do. We cannot allow this decline to continue.

I said at the launch of the survey that the intention was to help create a real and varied account of life in Scotland for LGBTI young people, and that the data and stories would allow us to tell decision-makers and Scottish Government, NHS, local authorities and beyond what needs to happen to make life better for LGBTI young people.

We will now be taking this evidence to decision-makers and ensuring they think about LGBTI young people when making important decisions that will affect their lives.

Paul Daly is Policy and Research Manager with LGBT Youth Scotland.  

Click here to read LGBT Youth Scotland Life in Scotland report

Click here to find out more about the work of LGBT Youth Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets young people from at a special edition of Scotland tonight.
For details see press release
Pic Peter Devlin

News: Young people present key issues to Scottish Cabinet

Posted 1 March 2022, by Jennifer Drummond. Image from Children in Scotland event, September 2018.

Young people across Scotland met today with the First Minister and her Cabinet in the sixth annual Cabinet Meeting with Children and Young People (Cabinet Takeover).

The meeting, which took place online, represents a key opportunity for young people to communicate the views of their generations to some of the most senior politicians in Scotland.

At the Cabinet Takeover, key decision-makers from across areas of the Scottish Government listened to speeches delivered by Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) and Members of the Children’s Parliament (MCP).

With a strong focus on children’s rights the meeting was particularly timely, taking place the day after it was revealed Deputy First Minister John Swinney has written to the Secretary of State for Scotland vowing to reintroduce a Bill to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots Law.

Issues of importance

Issues raised covered a range of topics including rights, education, climate emergency, health and wellbeing and more. Amongst the speeches made today:

  • Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) Chair, Josh Kennedy, spoke about the need to incorporate the UNCRC into Scots Law
  • MSYP Wiktoria Orlicka called for more protection of LGBT rights
  • SYP Trustee Sophie Reid spoke about female safety, calling for more action and improvements to physical spaces
  • Cameron Garret, Convenor of the SYP Education Committee, spoke about the need for a better education system for young people, including meaningful participation and involvement in decisions about their educational future and adopting a rights-based approach as standard
  • SYP Trustee Mollie McGoran focused on the climate emergency, highlighting the enthusiasm and passion of her generation.

Passionate presentations from representatives of the Children’s Parliament focused on gender equality in education, children’s mental health and wellbeing and adults realising children’s rights. 

Next steps

Both the children and young people present, and those they represent, will be looking for some activity from the First Minister and the Scottish Government in the coming months in direct response to the meeting and the issues raised today.

Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director of the Children’s Parliament said:

“[Our MCPs] are keen to see some real action taken in response to their Calls to Action.

“They feel very strongly about the issues they are raising and we fully support these as represent many issues children have raised through Children’s Parliament programmes across Scotland.”

Josh Kennedy, Scottish Youth Parliament Chair added:

“Today's meeting is an opportunity for Ministers to hear about these topics, and more, directly from children and young people. But it will only matter if we see action to address the issues raised and I'm looking forward to seeing what's done to ensure young people's views are taken into account in the year ahead."

For more information from today search click here to search #CabinetTakeover on Twitter.


Covid impact ‘risking future of vital services for young people’ across Scotland, survey finds

11 February 2022


The viability of services for children, young people and families throughout Scotland is under significant threat as a result of the pandemic, a new survey has revealed. The research, undertaken by the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Children and Young People, found that 90% of organisations are facing ‘some’ or ‘significant’ barriers to delivering their services, with the future of a range of services now in jeopardy.

The pandemic’s negative effects on the mental health of children, young people and their families were also starkly highlighted, with 86% of respondents reporting negative impacts – alongside related concerns about consequences for children’s development.Survey participants are all organisations and services that work with children, young people and families, encompassing local authority, national and third sector providers. The views of all local authorities are represented, with the exception of Shetland Islands Council. Other key findings include:

  • 74% of organisations are struggling with staff capacity to deliver services, with many saying that increased demand is a major reason for this pressure
  • 35% cite digital inclusion as an issue
  • 56% say they are seeing increasing levels of inequality
  • 49% of organisations report longer waiting times.

Lack of access to local authority facilities, financial stresses being experienced by families, and the pandemic’s effects on staff recruitment, retention, morale and wellbeing also emerge as key concerns.The Cross-Party Group, co-convened by MSPs Meghan Gallacher and Kaukab Stewart, with secretariat provided by YouthLink Scotland and Children in Scotland, has been discussing the pandemic’s impact on service delivery and on children, young people and families for the past 18 months.The survey was designed to inform policy discussions around current needs and recovery in the wake of the pandemic, and get a sense of continued and systemic challenges that could undermine the delivery of services now and in the future. The headline report will be shared with the Scottish Government, MSPs, COSLA and members of the Cross-Party Group.

Co-Convener of the CPG, Kaukab Stewart MSP, commented:

“This is a valuable survey being published in Children’s Mental Health Week as we seek to understand better how the pandemic has impacted children and young people. The national lockdowns by their very name, created circumstances which few people have ever experienced before and understandably it has taken its toll on children and young people.

“It’s time to recognise what we need to do to support good mental health for young people and children - not just for recovery from Covid but embedded in our culture in much the same way that Zoom and Teams calls are now part of everyday life.”

Co-Convener of the CPG, Meghan Gallacher MSP, said:

"Ninety per cent of organisations have raised serious concerns about the future viability of their delivery of key services for children, young people, and families. That is a huge red flag.

“The mental health of our children and young people has been severely affected throughout the pandemic. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that we address the concerns raised in this report as a matter of urgency.

“I am calling on ministers to ensure that changes are made to strengthen the current policy landscape to protect these vital services. That will enable stakeholders to deliver services that are robust and fit for purpose.

“For the sake of the children, young people and families who so desperately rely upon these services, these vital changes cannot be delayed.”

Through the survey, organisations identified a range of changes they would like to see in relation to the development of policy and practical Covid-19 guidance, including:

  • Access to provision of key support during school hours so that teaching staff and pupils benefit from experienced voluntary organisations
  • An ambitious new national youth work strategy, promoted to government, formal education sector, health sector and businesses
  • Grant-makers talking to frontline workers and listening directly to people in communities to better understand the reality on the ground
  • Equality between private and local authority wages in nursery settings
  • Greater clarity about council buildings being open for essential support of families and children.

Tim Frew, YouthLink Scotland CEO, commented:

"In this latest survey there are very clear messages from children and young people’s organisations around the continued detrimental impact the pandemic is having on crucial services that children and young people rely on.

“The findings are unfortunately not surprising, but they will, I hope, offer further vital evidence to both national and local government on the need to work with the sector on recovery and further invest in and protect organisations who have and continue to support children, young people and families through these challenging times.”

Judith Turbyne, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, said:

“These survey results offer an insight into the hard reality faced by services on the ground in the aftermath of the pandemic – and the consequences for children, young people and families across Scotland.

“Alongside YouthLink Scotland, we urge the Scottish Government, MSPs and COSLA to pay attention to the findings and listen to the important views on policy change captured in the research.“As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, issues such as the role of voluntary organisations in supporting schools, access to council buildings, and wage parity in early years settings must now receive the attention they deserve.”

Click here to view and download the Pandemic Impact Survey Report 2022

Pandemic Impact Survey Report 2022

The report from the Scottish Parliament's CPG on Children and Young People

Click to download

Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group

Find out more about the work of the Children and Young People CPG at Holyrood

Click for information

Our Manifesto for 2021-26

We're calling for improvements in services and support for children and young people

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Evidence bank

A unique resource directly capturing the voices of children and young people

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Project: Supporting the Third Sector

Helping the sector integrate with planning partnership and contribute to strategic plans

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News: Evidence shows poor planning for care leavers

Posted 19 January, 2022 by Catherine Bromley

Against the backdrop of stark statistics from Public Health Scotland on significant waiting lists for treatment from specialist child and adolescent mental health services, Holyrood's Health, Social Care and Sport Committee heard evidence on the current health and wellbeing of care experienced young people.

At the meeting held yesterday (Tuesday 18 January), key points raised focused on the lack of support for young people transitioning from care – the critical moment when they might leave school and their foster families.

Gillian Martin, MSP and Convenor of the Committee took evidence from a panel including Jackie Brock, Chief Operations Officer (Interim), The Promise Scotland; Helen Happer, Chief Inspector, Care Inspectorate; Lucy Hughes, Policy Development Coordinator, Who Cares? Scotland; and Kate MacKinnon, Policy Associate, CELCIS.

Pathway planning out of date

Helen Harper of the Care Inspectorate said that the pathway planning process for care leavers was out of date (it hasn’t been reviewed since 2003).

“[The pathway planning ] isn’t linked to the GIRFEC approach that has proved to help staff work together across different services.” Helen Harper, Care Inspectorate

Jackie Brock of The Promise and Kate MacKinnon of CELCIS argued that while the legal rights and the policy framework were in place to support transitions, there was a real gap between the commitment and the delivery of support to care experienced young people leaving the scaffolding of school.

The opportunity of the National Care Service review

Panel members agreed that although disruptive, the current review of Scotland’s National Care Service presented an opportunity to rethink the pathway planning process, to develop links between child and adult services and ultimately achieve a more cohesive approach.

Calls for improved data and a proactive approach to mental health and wellbeing

Lucy Hughes of Who Cares? Scotland, in response to a question from Sue Webber, MSP on the health statistics and mortality rates of care experienced young people, said they have been recording data since 2014 of their own members to drive an acknowledgement of “an inequality in terms of the experience of health for looked after children, compared to the experience of health by Scotland’s wider population of children and young people”.

A call for improved data to support this experience of inequality came from Jackie Brock, who said: “We cannot achieve sustainable progress until we have reliable data to measure what’s important”.

To address capacity across services in the face of Scotland and the UK’s developing mental health crisis, all those giving evidence at yesterday’s hearing said that a proactive approach was needed to support the mental health and wellbeing of looked after children from an early age, rather than waiting until young people are leaving care or at crisis point.

Click here to watch the Committee meeting on Scottish Parliament TV

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News: Transitions to Adulthood Bill to be formally introduced

Posted 13 December, 2021 by Jennifer Drummond

The proposed Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill has won enough support from MSPs to be formally introduced to the Scottish Parliament.

Last week, a total of 59 MSPs from across the political spectrum confirmed support for Pam Duncan-Glancy’s proposed Members' Bill to provide better, more consistent support for disabled children and young people leaving school, allowing the Bill to be formally introduced to Parliament.

The Bill needed 18 MSPs from a minimum of two parties to support it in order to be allowed to progress to the next stage.

The Bill will give a right to a statutory Transitions Plan to every disabled child or young person and secures provision of transition support until it is no longer needed, or the young person’s twenty-sixth birthday. The Bill would also require the Scottish Government to introduce a statutory national transitions strategy to improve outcomes for disabled children and young people in the transition to adulthood, and the appointment of a Minister with special responsibility for transitions.

Speaking on the support for the Bill, Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP said:

“I am so proud that the bill secured support from MSPs representing every party in the Scottish Parliament, and I look forward to continuing to work cross-party, and with Camphill Scotland, and Inclusion Scotland and others, to ensure that parliament delivers the changes that disabled children and young people need to see.

“Young disabled people have been held back for far too long. That’s why this bill is so important, and I hope we get it through parliament and ensure the support that young disabled people so desperately need.”

The Bill is being progressed with support from Camphill Scotland and Inclusion Scotland.

Emma Walker, Camphill Scotland’s Director, said:

“This is a huge step and we are delighted with the support from MSPs from across all parties. Young disabled people across Scotland deserve a positive transition into adulthood, opportunities to access work and further education, and a legal right to support when needed. Now that Pam has secured the introduction of this Bill to parliament we are hopeful that families in the not-so-distant future will no longer have to fight for their child’s access to these rights.”

Bill Scott, Senior Policy Advisor, Inclusion Scotland added:

“Inclusion Scotland welcomes the incredible level of cross-party support for the Transitions Bill. This legislation will provide support when it’s needed most to young disabled people facing the difficult transition between school and adult life. That support will be vital in reducing the huge employment gap between non-disabled people, 80% of whom are in work and disabled people , less than half of whom work. We look forward to working with Pam Duncan-Glancy to successfully steering her Bill through the Scottish Parliament”.

Click here for more information on the Disabled Children and Young People (Transition to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill

Pam Duncan-Glancy features in the first edition of Insight, speaking to Editor Jennifer Drummond about the importance of representation and accountability, and giving a national platform to challenges facing young disabled people.

Click here to find out more about Insight

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Comment: It's time to stop talking and start listening to LGBT young people

Posted 18 October, 2021 by Catherine Bromley

A new national survey is our chance to hear Scotland's LGBT young people tell it like it is, writes Paul Daly (pictured)

Much has changed in the nearly five years since LGBT Youth Scotland’s last survey on the experiences and lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people in Scotland, and not all for the better.

In recent years we’ve been through multiple elections, a global pandemic, and a period of intense public discussion around the rights and experiences of LGBT people on a scale never seen before. Our latest survey considers new facets of life that previously would not have been considered.

In the last Life in Scotland survey, we didn’t ask about the media or social media. This seems unthinkable now, given that these are two of the areas where the young people we work with – particularly trans young people – feel most unsafe and misrepresented.

In an increasingly digital world, we are able to hear from more voices than ever. Yet, often, the voices that are drowned out amid the din are those we should be listening to most carefully.

We are hoping to make this the biggest piece of research yet on LGBT young people in Scotland.

By asking young people about their experiences and views on issues like education, health services, safety, housing, representation, the media, and the impacts of Covid, we can help to paint a picture of the real and varied lives of LGBT young people in Scotland – without the spin.

The data and the stories we gather will allow us to tell decision-makers in the Scottish Government, NHS, local authorities, and beyond about what needs to happen to make life better for LGBT young people.

This will be the third time we have conducted this survey, meaning we can begin to identify trends and establish whether things are getting better, staying the same or getting worse for LGBT young people in Scotland, across a whole range of areas.

We hope that by putting the voices of LGBT young people front and centre, this research can start to shift the focus to the one question that really matters: what can each of us do to make Scotland the best place for LGBT young people to grow up?

The survey is open to anyone aged 13-25 who identifies as LGBTI in Scotland. We appreciate we are asking for young people to be honest about areas that they may find difficult and have ensured there is appropriate signposting within the survey to where they can find support if and when they need it.

It feels timely that our latest national survey launches at a point when hearing directly from LGBT young people is so urgently needed.

Ultimately, we need to stop talking about LGBT young people, and start listening.

Paul Daly is Policy and Research Manager with LGBT Youth Scotland

The Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People survey, which can be completed anonymously,  is seeking responses from young people aged 13-25 who identify as LGBTI. Click here for the link to the survey.