New co-chair of #IWill Scotland advisory group looks to a youth-led future

With more than four years of experience working with #IWill Scotland under her belt already, Cian Gullen looks forward to driving the movement into a new era as co-chair of the Scottish #IWill Advisory Group.

I am delighted to be appointed as the new co-chair of the Scottish #iWill Advisory Group. Having been involved in youth volunteering since I was in primary school, I know how social action can benefit young people. The #IWill movement is all about ensuring young people have opportunities to engage in social action and, as an ambassador, I've enjoyed sharing my personal experiences with other young people to show them why they should get involved too.

My experience as a volunteer has allowed me to do things I would have thought were completely out of the question for someone of my age and background. Before the age of 20 I had given evidence to the Scottish Parliament, chaired an event with the Scottish Secretary of State, attended a sitting at House of Commons, and  travelled to Berlin. This was all made possible through the support of the various organisations I had volunteered with.

I was involved in the drafting of the #YouthVIP report that is being used to help shape youth volunteering in Scotland. I will also be part of the legacy group for the implementation of these recommendations. I am really looking forward to working on this to help ensure all young people feel they are able to take part in social action. I am very pleased that these recommendations are being implemented with a youth-led approach putting young people at the centre of things.

The importance of youth engagement has been highlighted throughout the last year. It is important that young people are at the heart of all decisions that impact them and the #PowerOfYouth Charter is an excellent way for organisations to commit to supporting young people to do this. I am really looking forward to seeing how all partners will work to achieve this across their sectors.

The #IWill movement aims to encourage young people to take action, influence decisions and make change. The strategic plan for Scotland – which was put together with a group of us ambassador – sets out how we hope to do this. One important part of this is that the movement is youth-led. Having a young person appointed as co-chair of the Advisory Group is one of the first steps in enhancing the Power of Youth in Scotland.

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