Young people are due to take over the running of some of Shetland’s key public buildings next year, as part of the national Year of Young People (YoYP) event.
Launched locally with help from the new Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Maree Todd, the Big Takeover – Shetland 2018 promises to see young people working together to plan and deliver a range of arts, sports and cultural events in over the weekend of 14th-16th September 2018.
It has been hailed as one of a number of YoYP “signature” events that will be held throughout the year in locations across the country celebrating the talents and achievements of young people.
The programme will include music, drama, arts, crafts, film and sport, at seven locations – Mareel, The Garrison Theatre, Islesburgh Community Centre, Shetland Library, Shetland Museum, Clickimin Leisure Complex and the Gilbertson Park.
Youngsters will be supported by staff from each of the respective organisations, to deliver a programme of activities aimed at young people between the ages of eight and 26, with some events also available to the wider public.
Shetland Islands Council says around 30 YoYP ambassadors are already involved in the discussions around the programme, working alongside partner agencies.
The programme was launched nationally on Monday by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Attending the Clickimin, Ms Todd said: “The Big Takeover in Shetland is gearing up to be a very exciting event next year. “As one of the signature events for Year of Young People 2018, it will be a fantastic addition to the programme – involving young people from Scotland’s most northerly region.
“I’ve also been hearing today about plans to bring the Big Takeover to other Island local authority areas – building on the success of this fantastic concept.
“The Year of Young People aims to inspire Scotland through its young people, celebrating their achievements, valuing their contribution to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.”
Chairman of the council’s education and families committee, George Smith, said: “The Year of Young People will of course be a memorable year across the country and especially here in Shetland, where we have some very capable and talented young people.
“I have no doubt that they will work positively with staff to come up with an exciting and creative programme of local events. I’m sure too that our young folk will gain new skills and confidence, and that local bodies will benefit from some fresh and youthful input.”
Attending the launch event were Shetland’s two MSYPs, Sonny Thomason and Charlie Haddon.
Mr Thomason said: “I am so excited for the Year of Young People 2018. The Steering Group has listened to the initial ideas of young people and placed them at the centre of the planning for the year ahead. Young Shetlanders will be at the heart of the local plans and this is an amazing opportunity for the public and voluntary sector to work together to support young people.”
The Big Takeover in Shetland is funded with a grant of £38,000 from EventScotland towards the estimated costs of £80,000.
Young people are also being invited to get involved in the planning and programming of the Big Takeover. A get-together is being held on Wednesday 22nd November in the Mareel Auditorium.