Sep 042015

With thanks to Martin Carle, Public Relations Officer, Aberdeen City Youth Council.

Piotr Teodorowski2 ACYC

Piotr Teodorowski, chairperson at Aberdeen City Youth Council has been awarded a Saltire Award, an accolade that recognises his dedication to volunteering, and also helps develop vital skills and experiences that will help for the future.

The Saltire award is extremely sought after with many 12-25 year olds taking part, and only 12 awards being given out each year.

Piotr was one of two from Aberdeen to be given the award, and received it for his Youth Council volunteering. He is chairperson, but has also served as a dedicated treasurer previous to his current role.

Speaking of his achievement, Piotr says:

“I am proud to be recognised. I have received this prize mostly for the exchange with the University of the Basque Country and other youth council activities.”

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Jul 302015

With thanks to Martin Carle, Public Relations Officer, Aberdeen City Youth Council

International Exchanges Press Release Image

The Aberdeen City Youth Council has been making excellent progress in its efforts to build strong and long lasting relationships with other youth councils and youth groups across the world.

The biggest progress ACYC has made is the recent exchanges it has had with the University of the Basque Country.

Youth Councillors travelled over to the university where they met with the speaker of the Basque Parliament, the Basque Youth Council and the representatives from the Ministry of Education.

The ministry was kind enough to have prepared a 2 hour presentation on teaching Basque languages at schools. On their visit to Aberdeen, the representatives of the Basque Country met with local politicians, council officers and ACVO.

More recently, ACYC chairperson Piotr Teodorowski had a conversation with the Secretary General of the Tunis Youth Council. As a further step, the two bodies plan to organise and hold a video conference on terrorism, which shall be organised later in August.

Youth Council representatives have also met with representatives of our twin city Gomel to celebrate 25 years of the relationship.

On future plans for the youth council, chairperson Piotr Teodorowski says

“International exchanges and cooperation is a great opportunity for young people to learn much more about the world. Aberdeen City Youth Council tries to stay in touch not only with our twin cities but also with any similar regions to ours. “

It really is a small world!

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Apr 042014

Orange Party win Oldmachar election. With thanks to Braden Davy.

Winning team selfie

Orange Party celebrate their moment of triumph with a ‘selfie’.

On Friday 28th March, Oldmachar Academy voted for the Orange Party to decide where £1,000 of Aberdeen City Youth Council’s Budget is spent on the school.

Three parties campaigned in the election, the Orange Party – campaigning for lockers and better school food, the blue party for a fun day and balgownie, and the red party for a ‘Selfie treasurehunt’ and a Teacher-Student competition day.

Each party gave a speech to S1 – S3 before those year groups went to vote.

The Orange Party received 257 votes, the blue party 126 and red party 7. Turnout was over 98%.

The Orange Party celebrated by taking a ‘Winning Team Selfie’

Braden Davy, Mock Ballot coordinator said:

“This was a fantastic day and young people really got involved. Everyone was debating and discussing who they would vote for and got an understanding as to how democracy works”

The Orange Team will be presented with a £1,000 cheque at the Town House.

Jun 032013

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

Two senior youth councillors took part in a Donside tour, handing out leaflets to every secondary school, community centre and library in the constituency ahead of the group’s hustings on Thursday 6th June.

Struan King (Vice-chair, pictured) and Kenneth Watt (Press Officer) visited over 25 venues distributing 1500 leaflets.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoons the youth council will be leafleting young people outside Marks and Spencers, with a further 1000 leaflets ready to be handed out.

The hustings on Thursday 6th June is the only one to feature all five candidates from parties with representation at Holyrood which is open to the public. A free ticket is required and can be downloaded from People of all ages are invited, with half of all tickets guaranteed for young Donside electors.

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May 302013

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

The Aberdeen City Youth Council has announced that it will be hosting a hustings event for candidates in the Donside by-election in the Belmont Cinema at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday 6th June, 2013.

The event is open to people of all ages, but a significant number of tickets have been reserved for young people living in the constituency.

The event is free to attend but, due to the limited capacity of the venue, audience members are required to register at in order to obtain a ticket.

Youth council Chair Barry Black ( pictured ) said:

“This should turn out to be a great event.  The significance of the Donside seat is huge in Scottish Politics and is one that is being watched more and more closely every day.

“A number of issues regarding young people in Aberdeen will turn out to be major factors for voters in the by-election.  

Cuts to college funding, a review of the school estate, and controversial changes to tuition fees in England are news stories which are discussed frequently, all of which I am sure will resonate strongly with young people and families in the constituency. 

“On top of that, some communities in Donside unfortunately have incredibly high levels of child poverty and increasing crime rates.  

“These are all subjects on which I’m sure that the candidates will be quizzed.”

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Apr 262013

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

After it was damaged by fire last weekend, local Youth Council spokesperson Kenneth Watt has called for urgent action being taken to restore the sensory garden at Hazlewood School in Aberdeen – a facility which one of his close family attends weekly.

Kenneth said:

“I have a very close family member who attends a Saturday club run by VSA at Hazlewood every weekend for disabled kids. This facility isn’t just a school, it is a lifeline to the most vulnerable children in our society.

“I am urging local politicians to do all in their ability to restore this garden which is close to the hearts of so many disabled children and their families.  

“I am deeply saddened by this and am shocked that anyone would have the effrontery to commit such a crime.

“I know that the community as a whole shares my utter disgust at whoever did this.  As reported recently, Aberdeen is home to some of the richest businessmen in the UK.  The time is now for all to step in and give and do whatever they can to save this garden and stand up to this detestable, odious individual.

“Whoever did this needs to imagine being one of the pupils, overcoming immense challenges and unable to do some of the tasks many take for granted, turning up to school in the morning – one of few environments that they consider safe – to find that someone wanted and succeeded in destroying it.  

“Just imagine how they would feel!

“My thoughts go to all at Hazlewood and I hope that we can have their garden restored as soon as possible.”

Mar 252013

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

Councillors David Cameron and Marie Boulton have been invited to the next meeting of the Aberdeen City Youth Council to introduce a debate on the recent decision to give a license to Cineworld cinema in Union Square.

Youth councillor Kenneth Watt, who has put forward the debate, said:

“I have invited Cllr Cameron and Boulton to discuss the Licensing Board’s decision to grant Cineworld a license to sell alcohol as I believe it is an issue of great significance to Aberdeen’s young people.”

“A large number of under-18s attend the cinema frequently and their parents consider it to be a safe environment to leave younger teenagers on their own in the evening or at the weekends. Allowing people under the influence of alcohol and youngsters to mix in this environment is potentially dangerous.”

“However, I see the merits of granting such a license and I am aware that in certain circumstances it could be used to the cinema’s advantage.”

“I’m interested in hearing the councillors’ comments and finding out what the rest of the youth council think of the decision.”

Feb 252013

With thanks to Kenneth Watt.

GRADE A (Get Real About Drugs Education Aberdeen) was established in 2010 to consult with young people in the city on behalf of YoungScot.

After a successful consultation, the group, which is a sister organisation of the Aberdeen City Youth Council, decided to look at ways to improve the attitudes and education of young people towards drugs in Aberdeen.

In 2013, the group launched their drugs education app which is available for Apple and Android devices.

The app, dubbed ‘Know the ups and the downs,’ features news from the organisations, local facilities for drugs support and toolkits produced by GRADE A.

Over the past two years, the group has taken part in peer education training with Fast Forward, drug training with Drugs Action, various residential projects, and has won two awards at the ‘Young People Services Awards.’

The app includes various articles, which keep up-to-date with the recent drug issues, videos, photographs and links to groups like ‘Drugs Action’ and ‘Frank’ for anybody who needs help with addiction, etc.

Including the audience that watched the ceremony from a live video link, GRADE A launched their app to 1000 people in education, including teachers and higher education staff. The app was created to compliment the peer education programme that Grade A have created and hope to pilot in schools.

Grade A also held a seminar and talked more about their toolkits. From a 2010 questionnaire, many young people said that they felt drugs education was not effective. Older pupils believed the ‘Just Say No’ policy doesn’t work, and the group has have found this to be a view shared by many.

The three toolkits, ‘What is a Drug?’ , ‘Stereotypes’ and ‘Harm Reduction’ aim to inform people about the effects of drugs and how everyday products like alcohol and caffeine are also a form of drug, break prejudiced stereotypes and give advice on how to stay safe IF they ever decide to try it.

Rebecca Lindsay, a member of GRADE A and a youth councillor, said:-

“We have put a lot of hard work in to the group over the past few years and to have it recognised and put in to action with the app is very exciting.”

Virag Erdie, also a GRADE A member, said:-

“The app is very user friendly and isn’t limited to a certain age group. We have videos, pictures, event, articles and even drop-in centres in the app. People can create their own profiles or log in using their Facebook or Twitter accounts. We use trusted resources to make sure that the content is relevant and up-to-date.

“We are delighted that we can reach so many people using the app. We hope it will raise awareness to drugs in Aberdeen and the rest of the UK. We are also looking to recruit young people to join the group. We believe this is a fantastic thing to do.”

Martyna Biorka, a member of GRADE A commented:-

“I am really proud of how Grade A did a fantastic job with the launch and the seminar. They presented in front of many important people and it was a great opportunity.”

Feb 182013

Two senior youth councillors have welcomed the Aberdeen City Council administration’s budget for 2013/14, hailing investment in education and sport.

Youth council spokesperson Kenneth Watt said:
“The youth council has seen first-hand the effects of devastating cuts that have upset education in the city over the last decade. The commitment to investment from council leaders is very pleasing to a generation that has suffered a lot recently.

“I am particularly happy with the increased funding for Additional Support Needs. Past cuts to numbers of Personal Support Assistants has had terrible effects on the most vulnerable children in the city.”

“The new schools being built and existing ones being upgraded – such as Tillydrone – will have a really positive effect on the community.”

Barry Black, chair, added:

“Our generation is fed up of cuts to education and sport. I believe this is one factor in the recent surges in youth crime in the city and by investing in facilities such as the new pool and the city of culture bid more activities will soon be on offer which the city has been lacking in over the past few years.”

Dec 062012

Aberdeen City Youth Council’s Safe Sex campaign, which aims to investigate and improve condom provision in schools, has won the support of two Aberdeen MSPs.

Barry Black, Council Chair and Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Aberdeen Central is leading the campaign and believes this drive for better contraception availability will reduce rates of STDs and teenage pregnancies.
The Youth Council has been inspired by the C-Card scheme in Edinburgh which aims to give young people over the age of thirteen free access to contraception.

Richard Baker, NE Regional MSP said:

It is important that young people are able to make the right choices about practising safe sex. Schools have an important part to play in informing young people on these choices and I congratulate Aberdeen’s Scottish Youth Parliament Members for their campaign to raise awareness on this important issue. It is crucial because of the potential impact on young people’s lives and health.”

Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart agreed:

Safe sex should always be encouraged and we need to ensure, as a society, we are consistent in that message.”

Mr Black commented:

It is widely recognised that some young people under 16 are unable to get access to condoms, even though they are sexually active. Restricting condom availability to ‘underagers’ does not stop them having sex, it just makes it dangerous. People of every age are ‘at it’, regardless of whether or not you think it is appropriate, and all need to at least have access to contraception.

It’s great to have our MSPs on board supporting our case at a national level. In Aberdeen we are going to get to the heart of the problem, investigating how young people can get access to condoms easier, and then pressuring the Council and other bodies to implement recommendations we will draw.

We have had a really positive response from the administration, after they changed education travel policy following pressure from the group, and we are already in positive talks with councillors on how we can move forward with this campaign.”

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