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Home » News » March 2014 » Youth ‘Question Time’ helps fix referendum information gap

Youth ‘Question Time’ helps fix referendum information gap

24 March 2014
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Young Scots have taken inspiration from David Dimbleby to help them cast an informed vote in the independence referendum.

All 11 Cumbernauld YMCA-YWCA youth committee members were concerned that jargon and a lack of political engagement from both the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ camps would prevent them making the right choice for them on 18 September.

To address this issue, committee member Cara Clinton teamed up with national charity Fixers to arrange a Question Time-style debate for young Scots.

Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, chaired the debate. Zara Kitson of the Scottish Green Party, Kyle Thornton, chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, Ken Macintosh MSP from the Better Together campaign and Glasgow University student Amy Wilson made up the panel that answered the audience’s many questions.

Cara, 20, said: “It was a really great opportunity for everyone to get the full picture from both sides of the debate.

“We saw it as not only a way to inform people about the implications of voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but also a way to encourage young people to care more about politics.

“This decision could affect the rest of our lives so it’s crucial that others our age are passionate about having a voice.

“We are the future so it’s about time we started having a say in it. The debate was a great success and I think everyone there was more informed as a result.

The debate took place before an audience of more than 60 young Scots during the YMCA Scotland Youth Assembly in Larbert, Stirlingshire. Sanctuary provided funding to Fixers to support projects for residents in locations across the UK led by young people aged 16 – 25. Six of the 11 Cumbernauld YMCA-YWCA members have at one time lived in a Sanctuary Cumbernauld property. Fixers give participants the resources they need to make their chosen project a success. A news report on the debate featuring film footage from the event will soon appear at www.fixers.org.uk.