Angus LEADER Support Rural Youth Project Ideas Festival

Angus LEADER encourage young local change makers to attend the Rural Youth Project Ideas Festival at Wiston Lodge, Biggar, from 29 November to 1 December.

Angus LEADER is one of five LEADER Action Groups (LAGs) who are supporting this cooperation project in the next phase of a longer-term programme to reach out to all areas of Scotland and enable all young people to participate and become the next generation of rural leaders. The Rural Youth Project is supported by five LAGs  – Angus, Lanarkshire, Outer Hebrides, Rural Perth and Kinross and the Scottish Borders.

Angus LEADER’s Dave Tollick said: “We are delighted to be one of the co-funders of the Rural Youth Project. This is a great support network for younger adults who want to better participate in their own rural communities’ future. The 2018 Rural Youth Project was such a success that we were pleased to be involved.”

A line-up of local and international speakers will challenge delegates to “think different” about the challenges and opportunities young rural people face.

Anne Kelso, a Rural Youth Project delegate who joined a learning journey run in collaboration with Scottish Enterprise to the Netherlands in May, will be speaking at the event.

A food worker with Ayrshire Food Hub, Anne’s powerful story is about overcoming adversity, which the organisers hope will inspire delegates to create change.

“I grew up in one of the most deprived areas of Scotland – East Ayrshire. The reality is that a lot of people are living in poverty in rural places, and this challenge is amplified by isolation.

“Most people don’t want a hand-out – they want a hand up, and I’m excited to share with delegates what Ayrshire Food Hub are doing to help build and empower our rural community.”

Practical workshops will also feature throughout the weekend with Rosemary Scrimgeour – who runs rural architecture practice Building Workshop with husband Ben – a graduate of the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme (SERLP) will lead a session on Design Thinking, a human-centred approach to creating new and innovative ideas and solving problems.

“During a similar workshop I facilitated on our trip to the Netherlands, it was inspiring to see how creative and engaged everyone was in coming up with strategies and solutions in response to issues they are facing in rural places.

“I was introduced to Design Thinking on a SERLP learning trip to Memphis and have been inspired to study the innovative process further at Stanford University in the Silicon Valley.  I’m looking forward to meeting and building the confidence of young people to help them make change in their lives and communities.”

Rural Youth Project Director, Jane Craigie, said that this year’s programme has been designed to give young people the tools and support to enact real and lasting change.

“We were blown away by the feedback from last year’s festival and wanted to ensure that delegates this year walk away not only inspired, but with tangible skills to develop businesses, social enterprises and community projects.

“There are so many impressive young people in our rural places who often go unnoticed and we want the project to discover and support them, because they are our countryside’s future.”

The Festival is a residential weekend that is free of charge to attend with the option for some travel reimbursement for delegates living more than 20miles away from the venue. The event is targeted at 18-28-year olds with leadership ambition or potential (although young people up to 30 are considered) with delegates coming from across the UK and Europe.

Anyone with an interest to attend can register their interest here:

The Rural Youth Ideas Festival is funded by the LEADER Programme 2014-2020: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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