Scottish #IWill ambassadors embody the spirit of #PowerOfYouth
Throughout the COVID19 pandemic young people have been taking action and making a difference within their communities, wider society and the environment. Read on to see what some of Scotland’s #IWill Ambassadors have been doing since Lockdown and join us this Volunteers Week in championing the #PowerOfYouth!
Heroes and a half shell
Inspired by Stuart the life-sized leatherback turtle, who joined us at our #IWill4Nature launch in November, Rachael Hatfield decided to further support the work of Marine Conservation Society by symbolically adopting a turtle. By donating each month Rachael is helping to combat the risk of extinction for four species of turtles that are facing many threats including pollution & habitat destruction. You can also take action by joining Rachael in adopting a turtle or why not find out about some of the other endangered species and symbolically adopting one of those? From Wallabies to Rhinos to Orangutans there’s a whole list of endangered species on our planet that could use your help.
Making caring a craft
At a time of huge challenge for a lot of families who are losing loved ones to COVID19 and are unable to spend those last moments together, Abby Lang decided put her crafty skills to the test and got knitting for the knitted heart appeal at her local hospital. By knitting duplicate hearts, one for the patient and one for the family, Abby has helped provide a small token of comfort to those grieving at a very difficult time. If you would like to join Abby by knitting hearts for your local hospital you can find more in this article and find some handy knitting instructions in this Create and Craft blog.
#IWill ambassadors Lisa Noble, Amy Ghadia and Abby Lang supported our partners Young Scot in their #AyeFeel campaign to create some mental health & wellbeing content to share with other young people across Scotland. Check out some of their top tips on Young Scot’s Instagram page!
Although Lockdown has made it more difficult for some to take part in litter picks and beach cleans, Mhairi McCann took advantage of her close proximity to the coast and her allocated daily exercise to continue to take part in #SOSSaturdays beach clean each week. Over the 20 weeks since the #SOSSaturdays campaign started, Mhairi has terrifyingly collected over 15,000 pieces of litter from coastline near her home and has shared some of her more unusual finds each week on her Twitter page. Despite everything else that is going on just now, it’s so important that tackling climate change remains on our agenda. Our #IWill4Nature campaign is especially interested in how young people can help shape a blue/green recovery post COVID19. You can find out more about SOSSaturdays and how you can get involved in taking environmental action here.
Getting the Message Across
Engaging young people through sport can be difficult during a pandemic but that hasn’t stopped Ethan McInally who created a “Football Around The Community Challenge” on social media! Through his project Getting the Message Across, an educational programme for young people on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, Ethan asked followers to share their videos doing football tricks and keepy-uppies on social media. From young people to police officers to footballers themselves, there have been lots of video content shared through the page. As well as creating challenges on social media, Ethan has also been spending his time volunteering for local youth work project Govan Youth Information Project (GYIP) delivering food provision to children and young people most in need.
Ross Macpherson has put his crafty talents into action in response to COVID19 and has started to make reusable face coverings for his family, friends and neighbours. Not only are Ross’s face masks helping to keep people safe amidst the pandemic but his actions are also contributing to environmental change by encouraging people to use reusable masks rather than single-use ones. You can find out how to make your own mask here and make sure to get involved in Scottish Youth Parliament’s & #IWill Ambassador’s environmental challenge on Friday 5th June for World Earth Day!
Write for rights!
Joel Meekison wrote a great blog for Third Force News on the importance of human connection in the face of COVID19 and our increased digital infrastructure. If you’re passionate about a topic, have knowledge, top tips or skills that you want to share with others then writing a blog or article is a fab way to raise awareness and reach a wide audience. Read #IWill’s top tips for blog writing to get started!
Some of Scotland’s #IWill ambassadors have been further championing the importance of youth voice by supporting and sharing #LockdownLowdown, a survey and report in partnership with Young Scot, YouthLink Scotland and Scottish Youth Parliament on what young people in Scotland’s concerns are about COVID19.
A small group of #IWill ambassadors has also recently launched their own youth-led campaign ‘SQA Where’s our Say?” where they are calling on the SQA to meaningfully consult with young people on the alternative grading process. Having seen the concern and uncertainty that the implementation process has brought and its lack of any youth consultation, they felt driven to speak up and create a platform for other young people to also have a say. You can find out more about the campaign on their Facebook page or on Twitter - @SQAOurSay.
As demonstrated by #IWill Ambassadors, there are lots of ways that young people are continuing to take action, influence change and make a difference! From practical activities to online activities they are making huge changes in their communities, wider society and environment! Today we are spotlighting the incredible work of young people and saying thank you to them for the ever-growing #PowerOfYouth!