Five young people have launched their campaigns to become the next Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) for North Ayrshire.

They are calling on their peers, aged 14-25, to give them their support when the voting stage opens on Monday, November 8, to Friday, November 19. Across Scotland, around 150 MSYPs will be elected to represent young people in their local area.

In North Ayrshire, there are four seats up for grabs – two in Cunninghame South and two in Cunninghame North. The four winning candidates will represent young people in North Ayrshire over their two-year tenure, starting in June 2022.

However, as only two candidates are standing for election in Cunninghame South, their seats will be uncontested, and they will automatically be elected as the MSYPs for Cunninghame South later next year - they are Justin Jones and Pyper Quayle.

Justin said: “I believe that every young person should have a voice in concerns that matter to them. Why should we, young people, not have a say, why should we not get to make the decisions and question the decision makers on their views. I want to be your MSYP, enabling youth voice and promoting SYP priorities, leading conversation that creates positive change for young people across Scotland”.

Pyper added: “I want to make a difference, I want to be a voice for the young people and speak up for what is right. I want to make Scotland a better place, the best place. I’ve always looked up and admired empowered women with strong beliefs, empowered and independent females give us hope, someday I hope that I too can inspire young people and communities.”

There are three candidates standing for election in Cunninghame North. They are:

Logan Gilmour: If I become an MSYP, my term will see the cost of going to school greatly diminished, more LGBT rights, equalities and support, (mental) health services greatly improved, and poverty near-non-existent. Regardless of what you have to say, I will listen to you all, and I will do everything I can to make sure that your issues are heard and dealt with appropriately and effectively. It is my promise that, if I become an MSYP, youth will grow up safer, healthier and happier.

Erin McCluskey: I believe that you should vote for me if you want someone with the plenty of experience, patience, passion to help and support the various communities, and very friendly. I was nominated and won for the award from Scottish Youth Parliament, the award was - Local Hero 2021 - if that doesn’t tell you that I will do everything to ensure you are to be listened to, to be represented on both local and national levels, and to amplify your voice, then I don’t know what will!

Mais Al Diri: Young people should vote for me because I can be a voice for young people who don’t have the chances and opportunity to speak up. I trust that my ideas will represent your issues. As an MSYP I would be able to make positive change within my community and I will make sure your voice is heard whether it is a small change or a big change. If I become your MSYP, I will be able to provide you and support you within your full rights and make sure you know them at school and in your community.

As there are more candidates than seats available in Cunninghame North, it will come down to a public vote.

Voting takes place from November 8-19, with the result on November 23.

Craig Hatton, said: “Young people play a vital role in our communities here in North Ayrshire, which is why we actively involve them and listen to what they have to say. Our MSYPs are central to this, and I am delighted that we have such high calibre candidates standing for the next SYP term.

“I would like to wish all candidates the very best of luck as they begin their campaigning. I look forward to announcing North Ayrshire’s four new MSYPs later next month.