Young service users visit the Scottish Parliament

Posted by Kay Steven / Wednesday 30 July 2014 / Participation

As an organisation we feel it is extremely important to empower young people to make their voices heard. We want to champion them to engage in the democratic process which will have a direct affect on their lives and generations to come.

As part of work to raise awareness of the upcoming referendum, 22 young people and staff from Action for Children attended a Connect! Session at the Scottish Parliament.

The day was really interactive and very interesting. We were given a tour of the building and as Parliament was in recess we were able to stand in the debating chamber and have a good look around. The highlight of the trip for the young people was having our own debate in one of the Committee Rooms. Using the electronic keypads used for voting we first chose which topics we wanted to debate on, and then got down to the serious business of debating and voting! It was a fantastic way to learn about what goes on behind the scenes in the Scottish Parliament, and about how to get involved.

All of those who visited are first time voters and were able to get a sense of what goes on inside of the Scottish Parliament, how they can contact their MSPs and how their votes are counted and used.

Here's a list of the top facts young people said they learnt:

  • "There are more SNP members of parliament than any other party."
  • "That the Spanish architect who designed the Parliament building died before finishing the project."
  • "How much it costs to run the parliament each year."
  • "Lots of decisions are still made by the Westminster Parliament. I learnt the different between devolved and reserved issues and what laws have been made by the Scottish Parliament."

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