Larbert captains have say in youth summit

Kirsty Gardiner and Fraser Steel with Education Minister Mike Russell at the young people's summit in Edinburgh

Kirsty Gardiner and Fraser Steel with Education Minister Mike Russell at the young people's summit in Edinburgh

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Two senior school pupils took part in a national summit to discuss how to improve community services for young people.

Larbert High School’s S6 vice captains, Kirsty Gardiner and Fraser Steel, both 17, joined young people from every Scottish local authority for the national summit to gather the youth voice that the Scottish Government says it will use before making decisions that affect 11 to 18-year-olds.

The event was the start of a process that will see the young people producing plans to take to a ‘Children and Young People’s Summit’ early in the new year.

The conversations will help drive future government policies for service improvements and encourage young people to get involved in the decision-making process.

Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell said: “To make Scotland the best place to grow up we need to listen to the experiences and opinions of young people.

“We’ve seen clearly this year that – contrary to myth – our young people are extremely keen to help shape our future as a society. This is the beginning of a major effort to make sure they can do just that.”

Schools Minister Dr Alasdair Allan said: “Scotland’s young people are bright, hard-working and committed to their communities. I can think of few people better placed to help make Scotland the best place to grow up.”

Fraser said: “We spoke about a range of things fromhow we can improve services that tackle things like racism, stigma and education to the likes of bus services.

“Addressing mental health issues such as quicker referrals and issues like facilities young people can use. The board are older people who want to hear a younger voice.”

Kirsty, who is also a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “It was really worthwhile to put our views across and we got to realise the opportunities we have in this area compared to others.

“We’ve been asked to continue and we will do the best we can.”