YOUNG people across North Ayrshire will soon have the chance to become members of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

And one of the current MSYP's for Cunninghame North has urged the area's 14-25 year olds to come forward as candidates and grab an opportunity to make a difference.

Logan Gilmour, who is nearing the end of his two year tenure, said: “The main reason that I would recommend a young person putting themselves forward is because being an MSYP is one of the best ways to make your voice heard by key decision makers – both locally and nationally.

“During my term alongside my fellow MSYPs, I have been involved in a huge range of work over the last two years.

“This has included tackling a host of issues that are important to local young people including climate change, mental health and wellbeing, discrimination, poverty and inequality and LGBT.

"That’s one of the great things about the role – you can take the things you are passionate about and help make a positive difference on those issues.

“And, thanks to the support and guidance given to MSYPs via our Youth Services team and the Scottish Government, you really can have an impact.

"An example of this is that we’ve been able to recently see the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots Law – something that my fellow MSYP’s across the region have been campaigning on for a very long time.”

Four seats will be up for grabs in North Ayrshire – two covering Cunninghame North and two covering Cunninghame South.

But anyone keen to express an interest in standing as a candidate is urged to act quickly as the deadline for nominations closes on Monday July 31.

At a local level, Logan has recently been involved in helping the Council’s Climate Change Ambassadors to take action and raise awareness of climate change.

He has also been doing his part to support the Council’s Child Poverty Board to help young people and their families to overcome some of the challenges associated with the current Cost-of-Living crisis.

Being an MSYP has also given a lot to Logan personally too.

He said: “I have been lucky enough to have made friends for life through SYP and it really has given me so many opportunities that I would otherwise have missed out on if I hadn’t decided to put my name down and register an interest in becoming a candidate.

“So, my advice to any 14 to 25-year-old reading this and thinking about running this year as an MSYP, is just go for it – you won’t regret it!”

Councillor Chloe Robertson, North Ayrshire Council's Young People’s Champion, adds: “If you are thinking of standing in this election, I would encourage you to complete your expression of interest now.

“From tackling poverty and climate change to embedding inclusion and equalities, this role gives those looking to become an MSYP the unique opportunity to work across everything they are passionate about.

“And, if you think politics is just about meetings like the ones held in the local Council Chambers or over at Holyrood, think again…

“If elected, the action-packed opportunity will give you have the chance to travel and get involved in opportunities across the country – previous MSYPs have been to Holyrood, the Highlands and have also shared their views at the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and represented young people in the House of Commons at Westminster.

“Being an MSYP really is the ultimate opportunity for young people to be heard on both national and local issues.

"You’ll also gain a host of valuable personal and employability skills too such as communications, public speaking, debating, influencing and more…

“Register your interest now and let North Ayrshire’s Youth Services team support you to take the next step in your #youthparticipation journey so that you can help us shape the future of Scotland for all young people.”

For more info, check out the SYP website: