The following article appeared in the Independence Magazine on Saturday 15th of June 2019.
Young Scots for Independence was previously known as SNP Youth and is the youth wing of our Party.
In recent years the YSI has undergone a period of transformation and expansion with regional groups in the Scottish Parliament and right across the country. These groups allow our members to become active and engaged, not only within the YSI but also with the Party and public. This has allowed us to demonstrate our ability to affect change in the Party’s policies and take forward campaigns such as the ‘Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) Campaign’ and our longstanding commitment to improving mental health in schools, colleges and universities for Scotland’s young people. These young folk will be key to our success in a future Independence referendum and with this in mind our still relatively new National Executive Committee is overseeing our campaign activities by promoting our recently adopted ‘It’s Our Time’ motto.
We firmly believe that this simple but positive message will appeal to young folk… and help us win.
With our new NEC and positive motto in place we recently launched a new website as a space where we could share the work our members are doing and where others could find a pathway to join us. Please check it out for yourself: www.ysinational.com The YSI has something for everyone; from the relaunch of our Women’s Mentoring Programme to Days of Action; from campaigning on behalf of some of our by-election candidates; to creating working groups on areas of interest such as international affairs.
In addition we offer training opportunities, are to be found at Conferences, host policy discussions and offer young people a chance to have their say on the issues that matter to them. Our doors are always open and we welcome new members.
Only recently we relaunched in the Lothians and will do likewise soon in the Highlands and Islands and in Central. Look out for opportunities to get involved. Who knows, your passion and ideas, may just become Party policy and potentially help shape a better future for all of us. With Brexit hobbling along, overseen by a weak and wobbly Prime Minister, it’s no wonder that our friends across Europe are looking on aghast – a situation the YSI has experienced first hand.
At present we are strengthening our relationships with the European Free Alliance and the European Free Alliance Youth, our affiliate group in the European Parliament – both very sympathetic to Scotland’s plight. A few weeks ago the YSI visited Brussels where we were hosted by Alyn Smith MEP. We also engaged with colleagues at the Extraordinary General Assembly of EFAY in Venice and most recently were represented at the EFAY Annual General Assembly, again in Brussels.
We have been working hard to build on these relationships, standing in solidarity with our friends across the EU to reiterate Alyn’s request that they ‘leave a light on for Scotland’ until we become independent. There is so much to say about the YSI, from our capacity to influence policy, to our commitment to getting out there to chap doors, speak to people and help deliver the messages that will win elections.
We care about our future, our Scotland and the work we are doing with friends across the world to attain a brighter and better tomorrow for us all.
The YSI has the capacity to make a difference to Scotland and to the lives of all of our country’s people. Visit https://www.ysinational.com/get-involved for more information.
Jordan Linden is a good example of how young people can come to the SNP, become active, learn and then move on to an elected position.
Born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire in 1995 he is a graduate in Community Education and previously worked in the third sector.
Elected in 2017, he served as a spokesperson for Youth, Communities and Equalities before becoming interim Chief Whip of the SNP Group on North Lanarkshire Council.
Aside from his YSI duties Jordan is currently Secretary of the Association of Nationalist Councillors and Depute Leader of the Council’s SNP Group. He will happily tell anyone that he is ‘extremely proud’ to represent his hometown, Bellshill.