The MSYPs, Beinn, Maks, Hannah and Mya represent the area of Perthshire.
Here is a little bit about them.
What led you to standing as a Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYP), and what were you unsure of?
Beinn: I’ve always had an interest in politics and people. My friend told me about the Youth Parliament, and I wanted to stand because I want to help Scotland’s young people. I did a lot of research before deciding to put my name forward, so the only uncertainty I had was about how I was going to be elected.
Maks: I found this a good opportunity to help my peers. I wanted to get my voice out there and be heard, so that the problems I feel strongly about could be acted on. The application process was really simple, and there were always people there to help. At first, I was unsure about everything. My first thought was: “I want to help people”; I didn’t really think about the finer details. There is still a lot I'm unsure of, but I don’t worry myself on it, because I know the SYP is a great thing to be a part of as we can help so many people.
Hannah: I heard about the Scottish Youth Parliament through one of my friends. He had previously been an MSYP, so he told me a lot, but I then looked into it myself. I felt it was a good opportunity, because it is rare to find something where you can actually make a difference in your local community. I was pretty unsure about the election process. I wasn’t sure how it would work, and that was a bit nerve-racking.
Mya: I found out about the Scottish Youth Parliament through my Modern Studies teacher. He told the whole class about it and encouraged us all to take part. What motivated me to get involved was that I wanted to make a change in the area: seeing issues first-hand and then seeing the change in them. I was very unsure of the election process, but I got an email that explained Hannah and I were the only ones running in Perthshire South, so we were pretty much guaranteed it.
How have you found the experience of joining the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP)?
Beinn: The SYP staff have been really supportive and helpful, giving us training sessions and telling us everything we could possibly need to know. I am making contact with a lot of charities in the area and finding out what their needs are. I am interested in helping people and being a part of the community. I’m also interested in psychology, and I think it will be really helpful as my responsibilities grow, because it will help me recognise patterns of behaviour.
Maks: I quickly came to realise how much more was involved in it than just giving myself a voice. We get opinions from everywhere in Scotland, and we can put them into practice and make changes for the better. There is a lot that I haven't done yet, but I'm looking forward to the future. I want to look on everything optimistically.
Hannah: I've been involved in making a community action plan, which goes through the council. It helps me to think about where I want to see my community in four years time. I would like to focus on education: equality in education, mental health education, and getting youth work involved in education. Because of COVID, it has been more difficult to get charities in to talk to the schools, so I would like to help young people know what is going on through these different charities. I wasn’t actually that interested in politics; I just wanted to help people. I want to make the world better for the children that are growing up now.
Mya: The SYP have been very good in explaining everything: letting us know what's going to happen and what to do if something did arise. I was fourteen when I ran, so I am one of the youngest, which is a bit scary! I want to focus on equality, specifically in schools. I've noticed that when it comes to implementing policies about what they don't tolerate, a lot of schools can struggle, so they will push it to one side. Making people aware of what's happening is probably the first thing I'd do to tackle this.
What is an interesting fact about you?
Beinn: I like hiking, and I do a lot of hillwalking in my free time.
Maks: I have a huge interest in politics, and I keep up with what is going on in the news.
Hannah: I love musical theatre, my current favourite is the musical "wicked".
Mya: I am a massive bookworm! I am aiming to read 100 books this year.