Young people and community councils: discussion

News story posted: 13/11/2018

The Scottish Community Councils Website, managed by the Improvement Service with part funding from Scottish Government, is interested to hear how community councils and young people can work better together.


2018 is Scottish Government’s Year of Young People (often shortened to YOYP). The main objectives are:


  • Provide a platform for young people to have their views heard and acted upon
  • Showcase the amazing talents of young people through events and media
  • Develop better understanding, co-operation and respect between generations
  • Recognise the impact of teachers, youth workers and other supporting adults on young people’s lives
  • Provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through culture, sport and other activities


For more information, please visit: https://yoyp2018.scot


In June 2018, we posted a thread of tweets on the topic of young people (ages 8 to 25, as defined by the Year of Young People website) and community councils and in October 2018, we shared the same questions again to hear more ideas on how to involve young people in community councils:


  • How can community councils better engage with young people in the community?
  • What would help young people to get involved in community councils?


Responses to the questions were varied, including questioning if CCs and young people working together happens anywhere. Some people highlighted that people in general, not specifically just young people, do not know what community councils are.


Lack of interest in community councils and last of transparency from community councils were also highlighted as barriers to engagement; and having a high profile on social media has not necessarily led to community councils reaching young people.


Some community councils shared what has worked for them, including working better with Members of Scottish Youth Parliament, having a placement from a local student, and working with local youth forums.


The discussions have been collected in a Wakelet, available to view below and here: http://wke.lt/w/s/wfliA


We hope you have find these discussions useful. There is no easy answer to engaging better with any particular member of a community. Things to consider:


  • Inviting local students (from schools, colleges, or universities) to attend meetings.
  • Getting to know your local Member of Scottish Youth Parliament. Find out more about SYP here: https://www.syp.org.uk/
  • Accepting that young people might not want to commit to a long term on the CC and therefore introducing more flexible positions or short-term placements.
  • Working with local youth forums.
  •  Raising the profile of the community council more widely, including being transparent about what the role of the community council is. People may not be interested in formal meetings but being open about the format will help people to have reasonable expectations of what to expect.


Do you have any tips for better engaging with young people or making the community council more attractive to young people? Let us know on Twitter www.twitter.com/ScottishCCs.

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