A busy start to 2018 is in prospect! In January, we have the second Young Scotland Programme of the season (fully booked) followed in February by the Young Local Authority of the Year when teams of two representing local authorities across the UK will meet in Lancaster for our prestigious annual competition. Among the local authorities who have already booked places are Argyll and Bute Council, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, Flintshire County Council, Hull City Council, Manchester City Council, Preston City Council, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Telford and Wrekin Council and Wigan Council. Click here for more information.
Then, in April, the first Young England and Wales Programme of the year. Full details and booking form here.
The title Scotland Young Thinker of the Year 2017-18 (which will be shared with the winner of the January 2018 event) went to Rebecca MacDonald of Highland and Islands Enterprise on the final evening of the November programme. Her superb paper on North Korea was described as 'richly informative, impeccably researched, using excellent references, current and historical, to illuminate the nature of the regime, the futility of sanctions, and the need for dialogue... confidently delivered, this was a presentation of quite exceptional authority and maturity.'
The runner-up was Katie Crerar of the Cairngorms National Park Authority for a 'deeply felt paper on the illegal trade in ivory...the way Katie described the elephants had a visceral quality: you could almost feel those magnificent creatures...a powerful indictment of the inadequate sanctions employed to discourage the trade, ending with a passionate plea for meaningful global action.'
Bethany Ansell, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, was highly commended for 'an original, wide-ranging, beautifully crafted' piece examining English identity while Robyn McCormack of the Scottish Government was commended for a paper on the deplorable exploitation of captive animals. Click here for photos.