Ainya Taylor from Inverness took up the role of Highland Youth Convener on Monday (8th April 2013) . The full time role, based at the High Life Highland office in Ardross Street in Inverness is a bursary position running until September 2014.
As Youth Convener, Ainya offers a consistent link for elected members and senior officials in The Highland Council to seek young people’s views and will act as a sounding board for youth issues in the Highlands and in this role will have a direct line to policy makers and decision takers. Ainya will attend Council and Planning Partner meetings where appropriate, with full voting rights on Adult and Children’s Service committee with speaking rights at all other council committees. Ainya (17) is the seventh Highland Youth Convener and takes over from John Erskine from Conon Bridge who stepped down early from his role to take up a position with the Scottish Parliament.
Ainya who attended Millburn Academy, has also been an MSYP for Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Strathspey for the last 2 years. She has also been involved in Highland Youth Voice, the Highland’s youth parliament for 2 years and has been the Highland Youth Voice Chair for the last few months. Ainya was also the Chair of her local Inverness Youth Forum.
She said: “Having grown up in the Highlands, I feel I have experienced many aspects of what challenges face young people across the area. I have also benefited greatly from the vast range of opportunities available for young people and hope to encourage the continuation and expansion of these youth services. The main focus of the last Highland Youth Voice Conference was about getting our voices heard to the Northern Constabulary and we were also involved in the Highland Council budget consultation. The young people said it was great to enter into discussion and feel listened to. The next conference in June will involve a Health and Wellbeing consultation with NHS Highland. We will also be having an open forum discussion with Northern Constabulary, Highland and Islands Fire and Rescue Service and The Highland Council’s Education service. We will also be getting involved in promoting voting and increasing turn out in elections in discussions with The Highland Council’s Election team. I am looking forward to working on these projects, and I am also looking forward to working with young people from across the Highlands, High Life Highland and The Highland Council who have placed a high priority on youth issues in the Council’s Programme for the coming year.”
The Highland Council Convener Jimmy Gray, Leader Cllr Drew Hendry and Children’s Champion, Cllr Linda Munro congratulated Ainya on her appointment when they met her on Tuesday.
Councillor Drew Hendry said: “Ainya brings great enthusiasm, knowledge and experience in youth matters to this important role which will be valuable in representing the views of young people. I have no doubt she will rise to the challenge and prove to be a most able and persuasive champion who will have a direct input into our policy and decision making process. We wish her well and look forward to working closely with her.”
The role works closely with young people across the Highlands through Highland Youth Voice, Area Youth Forums and Pupil Councils in High Schools. Ainya will maintain the good links between organisations and partners already established by previous Youth Conveners and will also develop new connections with organisations across the Highlands.
Ainya can be contacted at High Life Highland, Inverness on 01463 663827 or email@example.com