Pupils invited to Holyrood after citizenship initiative shines a light on young carers

Pupils invited to Holyrood after citizenship initiative shines a light on young carers

Two pupils from Peterhead Academy were invited to the Scottish Parliament last week after a citizenship programme they are involved in saw a motion raised by a north-east MSP.

Chloe and Katie, third and second-year Modern Studies students, were invited to the Chamber to hear the motion raised by Banffshire and Buchan Coast member Karen Adam which recognised the importance of Young Carers Action Day 2024.

The motion came about after the pair met with the local member to brief her on the findings of a project undertaken as part of Peterhead Academy’s ‘School of Citizenship’ initiative which allows pupils aged 12-15 to conduct their own research in order to enable positive change in their local communities.

The School of Social Science at the University is a partner in the programme which has already resulted in Ms Adam supporting awareness for young carers in the Peterhead area and the potential creation of a Young Carers Hub.

The Parliamentary motion saw MSPs note the importance of the Carers Trust annual Young Carers Action Day and its theme of ‘fair futures for young carers’, which focuses on why caring should not be a barrier to learning, earning or being able to get on in life.

Holyrood also thanked young carers for what it sees as the role that they play in providing kinship care and the positive role that they place in society overall.

Dr Samantha May, senior lecturer in the University’s Department of Politics and International Relations at the School of Social Science, said: “This is a fantastic result for the pupils and demonstrates how successful community engagement can be in working for real change in our local areas and in giving confidence and voice to our young people.”

Head of School Ian Greener added: “We are proud to support the School of Citizenship initiative and I’m hugely grateful to Sam for having worked so closely with the students and staff at Peterhead Academy to help pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to be responsible and active citizens.”

Sarah Stevenson, teacher of Modern Studies and lead teacher of the School of Citizenship, said: “I’d like to say how proud I am of these pupils. Chloe’s initiative and hard work with support from Katie has helped give young carers a bigger voice across Scotland and bring this crucial issue to the attention of the Scottish Parliament. I’d also like to thank the University of Aberdeen for working alongside Peterhead Academy to enable our young people to engage with the community in such a meaningful way.”

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