The Young Programme (established in 2002) exists to develop the communication skills and broaden the horizons of people in the early stages of their working lives. It does so through an annual series of residential courses, each of three days' duration, in which delegates are encouraged to think and talk freely about the big issues facing us as a society. Through discussion and dialogue, the personal testimonies of inspiring speakers, and the delegates' own presentations on questions of 'current interest or controversy', the programme helps to build confidence, stimulate debate, and increase awareness of the world around us. The minimum age for entry is 18, but there is no upper age-limit: the Young Programme is open to anyone in the formative years of their career, irrespective of age. In addition, the programme organises an annual team competition bringing together outstanding talent from the UK’s local authorities.
The programme’s founder, Kenneth Roy, said: 'The idea couldn’t be simpler. It is to encourage and engage a neglected group in our society – people who have left full-time education and are now building careers. The young people of Inveramsay, in rural Aberdeenshire in the distant 1920s, converted a shack on the platform of their railway station into a meeting place they called Utopia, and talked long into the night. They inhabited a different world. But their idealism and independent spirit go on inspiring our programme. We can all build a shack we call Utopia, if not on the station platform, then in our hearts and minds.'
The Young Programme is supported by a wide range of organisations throughout the UK and Ireland. The organisations include government departments, executive agencies, public bodies, local authorities, financial institutions, professional organisations, and the third sector. The total number of delegates who have participated in the programme since its establishment is a staggering 3,103!
Young Programme Leaders
Elliot Boakes, Brendan Kelly, Melika Khandanian, Sarah Tranter, Alexey Underwood
Trustees of the Young Programme
Fiona MacDonald, Alan McIntyre, Islay McLeod, Barbara Millar, Amanda Williams, Junior Deslandes
Founder of the Young Programme
Charity Number: SC036433
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