Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Ernie commended for youth parliament work

Ernie commended for youth parliament work
24 April 2017

A member of Orkney Islands Council’s Community Learning and Development Team has been recognised for their work helping the county’s young people make a difference to the lives of their peers, at the recent 2017 Scottish Youth Parliament Awards.

Ernie Skea, Community Learning and Development Officer, was awarded a Special Commendation in the ‘Ros Clark Support Worker of the Year’ award, for his work with Orkney Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) and encouraging young people to get involved in the forum. He is pictured here below (middle) accepting his award from host John Loughton (left) and Gillian Lithgow of YouthLink Scotland who sponsored the category.

 Ernie Skea accepting his Special Commendation in the ‘Ros Clark Support Worker of the Year’ award, at the 2017 Scottish Youth Parliament Awards.

Ernie has worked helping engage local young people with the Scottish Youth Parliament for six years.

Speaking about his award, Ernie said: “I feel it’s really the young people who put in the hard work - I am just there to support and guide them through the process.

“It’s always a great honour and privilege to work with young people who put themselves forward – and inspirational to see our MYSP’s develop their skills and confidence in such a short space of time, to meet the challenges and potential of the role.”

Jack Norquoy, one of Orkney’s current MSYP’s, nominated Ernie for the award along with former MSYP Thorfinn Moffat, who served alongside Jack as MSYP from 2014 to 2017.

Jack said: "Ernie’s contribution to giving young people in Orkney a voice cannot be underestimated. Myself and Thorfinn are absolutely delighted to he has been recognised at the 2017 SYP Awards.

“Supporting young people to be all they can be is very much part of who Ernie is. It is more than a job to him; it’s a passion and something that he strives towards every day and in every way possible.

“He and the CLD team have been of huge support to me these last two years as an MSYP and I am delighted their work has been recognised nationally and we in Orkney should be very proud."

Peter Diamond, the Council’s Head of Lifelong Learning and Inclusion, said: “I am sure I echo the many young people Ernie has worked with in Orkney over the years when I say this recognition is well deserved – on behalf of all his colleagues at the Council I heartily congratulate him and thank him for his work helping ensure young people in the county have their voices heard at a national level.”

The SYP Awards took place on Saturday March 28 in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Youth Parliament is democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people. Their vision for Scotland is of a nation that actively listens to and values the meaningful participation of its children and young people.  SYP is grounded in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly Article 12, which lays out young people’s right to be listened to on the issues that affect them, and for their views to be given weight.

The SYP Awards is an annual event which takes place during the March National Sitting, and recognises the hard work and achievements of Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament and their Support Workers.