Scotland - Recognising young people’s leadership.

Whilst progress has been made in Scotland, there are still challenges ahead.


Although good progress has been made since 2014, young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are still significantly less likely to be participating in social action.

The COVID-19 Pandemic has exacerbated challenges faced by young people, and brought clarity on how important it is to meaningfully involve young people in decisions that affect them.


Loneliness by age range, The Contribution of Volunteering to Scotland's Health & Wellbeing Full Report (2019)

When looking at participation in youth social action as a whole, 52% of young people across Scotland are still not getting involved. This becomes particularly important when we consider the positive impact participation could bring to those young people and to wider society in tackling some of our most pressing challenges:

Consider how beneficial intergenerational volunteering could be in combatting loneliness among the population - young people are the second most lonely age group after those 75 and older.

Nothing About Us Without Us: SQA Results U-Turn

#iwill Ambassadors Rachael Hatfield, Katrina Lambert, Joel Meekison led the SQA: Where’s Our Say Campaign (@SQAOurSay) in response to the Scottish Government’s approach to the SQA exam results during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Their work, alongside the young people who stood beside them, demonstrated how important it is to involve young people in the decisions about their own lives.

Their campaign resulted in the Scottish Government making a U-Turn on how they were grading the SQA results - agreeing to accept teacher estimates over the complicated algorithm originally used, which left pupils in poorer areas at an unearned disadvantage.

The UK Government quickly followed suit - Joel, Katrina and Rachael’s initial campaign resulting in millions of young people across the UK receiving fair results for both GSCE and SQA exams.



#iwill Ambassadors Rachael, Katrina and Cian joined a national youth volunteering design team in partnership with Young Scot and Project Scotland - the Youth Volunteering Innovation Project (YouthVIP). They’ve since developed 13 recommendations for the Scottish Government to encourage more young people to volunteer and to improve young people’s experience of volunteering. The Scottish Government has accepted all their recommendations.

Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, said: “It is clear from [the young people’s] recommendations that as well as knowing about the many benefits of volunteering [they] brought great insight into the challenges and barriers that are preventing more people from getting involved.”

#iwill Ambassador, Rachael, 21 said: “The Launch of the YouthVIP report was a real turning point in showcasing to government and decision makers the impact youth voice can have across society, and especially on volunteering and social action!”

The Scottish Government has accepted all their recommendations and we hope to see these realised in the near future, despite potential for a shift in government priorities following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Excerpt from Leaders of Now: The #iwill Ambassador Story. Read the full report here.


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