Youth conference to discuss keeping safe

Safety for young people online and in the real world will be the theme of a one-day youth conference being held on Friday at Islesburgh Community Centre.

The “#Virtually Safe Virtually Sound” event is aimed at a cross-section of secondary school pupils from across Shetland, covering topics such as internet safety, anti-bullying issues and developing positive relationships.

Staff from Shetland Islands Council’s youth services and adult and child protection teams are organising the event, that will also use dance and drama workshops to cover these subjects.

The event is part-funded by the Yell Youth Cafe which has benefited from a grant from Awards for All Scotland Lottery Fund, on the theme of “Keeping Yourself Safe”.

A number of young volunteers in schools are helping to plan and promote the event among their peers.
MSYP Kelvin Anderson, who is supporting the event, said: “Lots of young people now access online information and connect digitally with each other through social networks and phone apps.

“It’s really important that we learn how to keep ourselves and our friends safe online, as well as in the real world. We need to be confident how to use technology safely and seek support when we need it.”

Shetland Child Protection Committee chairwoman Sarah Taylor said: “We really hope that bringing together young people to focus on their online safety will help to spread the message that the virtual environment has risks too.

“The selection of workshops covers a range of topics and we hope to stimulate discussion among the young people taking part.”

Dr Taylor said if the event proved popular they would see how to build on it in future years, perhaps extending it to other locations across Shetland to reach more young people.


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