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      General News

Two newly-elected members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) begin their terms of office today (Tuesday 20 February), after fielding the votes of young people across the Western Isles.

Re-elected after serving a term already is Stornoway girl Alannah Logue, aged 19, who now stays in Glasgow.

She’s joined by Barra islander Ellie Denehy, a pupil at Castlebay School, who is elected for her first term as an MSYP.

In her campaign statement, Ellie said: “I want to become an MSYP because I feel passionate about making young people's voices heard.

“I want to make a difference in the community for young people by representing their interests and to help inform policy to make young people's lives better in the Western Isles.

“I want to make things happen in the islands and make things change for the good of everyone.”

Last summer Ellie was a member of the Western Isles youth climate action group, which received the environment and conservation award at the Youthlink Scotland national youth work awards in Glasgow.

Ellie is keenly interested in environmental issues and also in health and wellbeing – she’s a triathlete herself and enjoys keeping physically fit and exploring outdoor environments.

Alannah has already been the MSYP for the Western Isles since April 2022, making connections with young people and adults across the Western Isles.

She says: “Coming from a remote island community, I believe that the young people in my constituency deserve as much of a voice as everyone else.”

In 2023 she was elected convener of Scottish Youth Parliament’s culture and media committee, which she said would give her the opportunity to work on issues surrounding culture such as Gaelic language, the arts, Scottish culture and diversity.

Announcing news of her re-election, Alannah said: “I couldn’t be more thankful for the support of my friends, family and the local community over the last two years.

“I’m looking forward to continuing the ongoing work that I have been doing and also working alongside our new MSYP Ellie.”

Councillor Paul Finnegan, chair of education, sport and children’s services at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said “Congratulations to Ellie and Alannah on their success and congratulations to all candidates for the hard work they have put in over the last few months.

“Having the voices of our children and young people heard is very important and we are grateful to everyone who stood for election.

“We look forward to working with the new MSYPs and continuing their positive engagement with the Comhairle.”

There was an unforeseen delay in the elections themselves, due to technical issues with the country-wide voting system last year.

The re-scheduled elections ran over the past two weeks, with young people across the Western Isles making their voices heard by voting for their chosen candidates via the Young Scot website.

The pictures show Ellie (with surfboard) and Alannah in their island environments.