Blog: Year of Young People Ambassador – Ross Cowan

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My name is Ross Cowan I am 21 years old from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire. I have been a volunteer with Young Scot for over five years and I am currently an Ambassador for the Year of Young People 2018.  During this time I have accrued over 2800 volunteering hours.

My best achievement through volunteering with Young Scot was when I won a Young Scot Award for building a maze in the shape of the Commonwealth logo in the Riccard Johnston woods in Motherwell. This was a grant that we got for £46,500 to build it and we got support and input from all over North Lanarkshire with people donating their old bricks so that we could build a pathway to, and around, the maze.

Early Involvement

It is so important to have young people involved at the earliest opportunity in projects. The reason for this is that young people will have different ideas and a different look on the project/idea that others may never think of. With young people involved in each part this will also allow the project to be youth led which is such a key thing to do as it allows the young people to experience what the roles and responsibilities are of a full project.

With young people they will be nervous at this if you say “you are doing it all” but if the young people are given a small guide at the start then it will work and fall into place within a few sessions.

Changing perspectives

The projects that I have been involved in, and am currently involved in, will be making such an impact into the way that Scotland sees its young people and this ever-lasting legacy will be what co-design is all about changing the perspective on how people see young people. Not standing in street corners drinking or smoking but helping their community and doing things that will give them a better start to life.

The Year of Young People 2018 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. To find out more visit

 Find out more about Young Scot and the charity’s work by visiting

Find out more about how A&DS supports young people engaging in their places here.

Blog: 5Rights – Amy Chalmers

A&DS asked a number of young people to share their experience of co-design - here Amy Chalmers writes about rights in the digital world.

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