Our stories

Ross Boyd and Niamh Mclaughlin, both from Paisley, have just been elected to the Scottish Youth Parliament. Here, they tell you what they want to see in Paisley's future.

Niamh's Story

My name is Niamh Mclaughlin, I'm 16 years old from Paisley and I have just been elected to the Scottish Youth Parliament. The Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) is a politically-independent organisation that aims to represent young people in Scotland. I chose to run as a candidate for the SYP because I see the challenges that face young people head on, I want to make a change.

Often adults make decisions regarding young people but the SYP allows young people to have the power to make decisions and to have their voices heard. The idea of this intrigued me as adults don't always know whats best for young people, yet we do. Instead of letting adults be in charge of our futures I wanted to take a stand and contribute so it isn't just the older generation who make decisions regarding us.

Also hearing stories of what past MYSPs have achieved made me want to do the same and help to make Scotland a better place for young people, so the number of complaints decreases and the number of successful young people increases. Now that I have been elected I plan to do my best and make as many positive changes I can for our generation.

One of the main issues that young people and students face is having to pay a full price adult train ticket. This may not seem like a big deal but for students who have to get a train most days, or for those that just don't have a lot of money, this can be seen as a big inconvenience.

I believe that if you’re a full time student or under the age of 18 you shouldn’t have to pay the high price of an adult ticket. I know this will be quite hard to achieve due to ScotRail being a major company but I will try my hardest to try and make a change for the better.

Also during my time as an MYSP I hope to see Paisley win the 2021 City of culture title as this will create great publicity for Paisley and will attract many more to Paisley. This will bring in more money which will allow us to grow as an area and reach our full potential.

This title will also give young people the confidence to feel like they can achieve, as if Paisley were to win it could create more opportunities and will give young people the feeling that if they are from a better area they can do more.

If young people were to get more involved in the arts and cultural activities this could open their minds more to new things. The arts and culture is very educational yet fun at the same time. It allows you to meet new people and learn more about subjects rather than maths and English. Participating could lead to jobs and learning more about yourself and things that you don't learn in school.


Ross's Story

My name is Ross Graham Boyd and I am currently fifteen years of age. I was born in the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley and resided in the Dykebar area of Paisley my whole life. I went to Todholm nursery and primary school before progressing to St Andrews Academy.

I am very proud to tell others where I am from due to the history and different cultures that Paisley has to offer. I have recently been voted into the position of MSYP elect for Paisley and my gratitude towards those who voted for me goes beyond words.

My Modern Studies teacher Mrs Kerr suggested that I run as a candidate for the Scottish youth Parliament. I therefore grasped this opportunity and I had one clear goal in my mind - I was adamant that change is possible you just need the right person to represent you and ensure your voices are heard. It was the belief of myself and those who voted for me that I am the person who will strive to achieve a better tomorrow for the youth of today.

Now that I’ve been elected I will begin to look into the plethora of social problems that I have already identified and will look to find the solutions. In addition to my views, I plan to represent the youth of Paisley in anyway shape or form that I can to make sure that the promises I have made are kept.

It is my opinion that Paisley is a Town rich in both history and possibility. As times goes on there is a wealth of improvements being made to both the Paisley town centre and our Town as a whole. This gives those who live here a sense of pride instilled within when we look at Paisley. We look at our home as a place where there are an abundance of opportunities.

Paisley is bathed in cultural history, from its mesmerising Abbey and Cathedral to its deep industrial roots in the form of the Paisley Anchor Mill.  For those whose relatives have lived in Paisley for a number of years, it can be easy to trace back our ancestors to either the Mill or otherwise due to them being a source of employment for many Buddies in the early 20th century. A great personal example would be that of my great-great-uncle who was a weaver in the Mill.

Today, Paisley has become a hub for musical and artistic culture. On several occasions my family and I have walked into Paisley town centre to see its bustling and vibrant atmosphere, either in the form of live music, magic shows and many other entertaining performances which draw large crowds.

I feel that it is vitally important, to promote our town. As even those who are not from Paisley can be drawn to its cultural significance and its wholesome sense of togetherness, by way of coming together to celebrate our bright, fresh town in the way that it deserves.