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Caithness News Bulletins May 2003

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Education Index Highland Youth Voice Highland Wellbeing Alliance  


The new look Highland Youth Voice is preparing for a double launch at a major community event taking place next month.

The youth parliament for the Highlands has new office-bearers following the second round of elections within secondary schools and youth organisations as well as a new youth development officer to co-ordinate its work. Together, they are working on the launch of an educational leaflet on the misuse of alcohol and a video highlighting the dangers of misusing drugs, which will take place on Saturday 7 June at Glen Urquhart High School. The new community school in Drumnadrochit is hosting a conference: "Bringing Communities Together", which is being organised by the Highland Drug and Alcohol Action Team to raise awareness of drug and alcohol issues whilst promoting alternative choices through music dance and sporting activities in the community.

The new chairman of Highland Youth Voice is George Shannon from Grantown Grammar School. His Vice-Chairman is Sunny Moodie, Dingwall Academy. Secretary is Annie MacKay, Thurso High School, and treasurer is Tom Pennick, Tain Royal Academy.

George said "The publication of our own materials is an amazing achievement for Youth Voice. These new materials are some of the first published by young people for young people. We have a unique insight into the lives of young people across Highland. As a result, we have created materials which we feel will be beneficial to the young people of Highland. The leaflet provides unpatronising, basic information on alcohol which we feel all young people should know. The video presents a more intimate view on drugs."

Youth Development Officer Pablo Mascarenhas recently took over as the lead officer for the 80-strong parliament, having previously worked in Community Education at Culloden Academy and Cameron Youth Club, Inverness.

As well as preparing for the launch, his team is preparing for a full meeting of Highland Youth Voice at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Skye, between 20-22 June.

Pablo, said: "The Youth Voice Executive Committee is delighted to join in the community event at Glen Urquhart High School to promote our two new initiatives on alcohol and drug misuse. It promises to be a big day out for young people. Then we will focus on the weekend programme for a full meeting of the Youth Voice at the Gaelic Colllege in Sleat, Skye between 20-22 June. We have looked in detail at alcohol and drugs misuse and now the two main themes that the parliament is looking at are lifestyle issues, such as health and youth facilities as well as the environment, including public transport, recycling and eco-schools. We also endeavour to keep our web site: www.highlandyouthvoice.org  up to date and relevant for young people."

The Youth Voice is promoted by the Highland Wellbeing Alliance, the community planning partnership for the Highlands, which involves a wide range of public agencies and the voluntary sector.

Speaking about the launch, Chair of HDAAT, Councillor Ian Ross said: "Youth Voice have consistently taken a very prominent and positive role on drug and alcohol issues and I been impressed by the work they have done. I am delighted they are participating in the "Bringing Communities Together" event at Glenuquhart High School. It is crucial we involve people from across Highland communities, with a particular emphasis on young persons."