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Cameron Garrett is clearly a young man going places.
The 18-year-old Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP) from Ardrishaig said he was ‘overwhelmed’ to be voted MSYP of the Year at an online ceremony last Saturday.
Along with fellow Lochgilphead High School pupil Yasmin Bowden, he was elected to the youth parliament in 2019, representing Argyll and Bute.
Since then Cameron has been prominent in the Scottish Youth Parliament’s national ‘Pack it up, Pack it in’ campaign focused on environmental protection.
He has also been a member of the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, leading on a project aimed at improving personal and social education (PSE) in Scottish schools.
As convener of the Education Committee, he led work on the recovery of education from the pandemic and sits on the SQA’s National Qualifications 2021 group, representing young people’s views on a range of issues such as the alternative certification model for 2021 and this year’s appeals process.
The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) is fundamentally a rights-based organisation, and Cameron is proud that United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has been approved by the Scottish parliament in the last fortnight, after tireless campaigning through the SYP.
He explained: ‘The incorporation of this into Scots law will make consultation with young people regular practice. Being a member of the NQ21 group is a step forward in ensuring youth participation is standard rather than tokenistic.’
‘Of course representing the young people of Argyll and Bute has been a huge honour and a privilege,’ added Cameron.
‘It’s been amazing to meet and work with so many incredible young people across the constituency, who will continue to do our area proud.’
The SYP is entirely youth-led, representing Scotland’s young people. Elections are held every two years and people aged from 14 to 25 from across Scotland stand as candidates in all 32 local authority areas and from national voluntary organisations.
The next SYP elections are due to take place at the end of this year, but Cameron will not be standing again in Argyll and Bute, though does intend to do so in another constituency.
He said: ‘I would encourage any young person in Argyll and Bute considering standing for SYP to do so.’
Young people can register an interest now by contacting the Argyll and Bute Council’s community learning team or by checking SYP’s social media accounts for more information – @OfficialSYP.
Reflecting on the past week Cameron said: ‘I feel incredibly overwhelmed but really proud to have won MSYP of the Year. I absolutely was not expecting it.’
Looking to life beyond the youth parliament, he continued: ‘My plans for the future are a bit uncertain. I’m currently taking on life’s twists and turns when they present themselves to me! I have a passion for politics so who knows where it might take me.
‘SYP has given me so many incredible opportunities that I am really grateful for as well as boosting my skills in campaigning, consulting and lobbying as well as hugely boosting my confidence.’