Beltane Twilight | Year of Young People 2018

Dark-haired woman wearing chunky gold necklace

Chelsea Charles

On Monday 26th March 2018, Chelsea Charles, VisitScotland’s Themed Years Communications Manager, spoke at a Beltane Twilight about getting involved with the Year of Young People 2018.

Beltane Twilights (and Breakfasts, and Brunches and Lunches!) are informal events where staff (academic and support/professional) and research students from universities in Edinburgh, plus individuals who wish to work with universities in Edinburgh, can come along to find out more about a specific public engagement topic and to network.

At this Twilight event, Chelsea represented the public events arm of the Year of Young People 2018. Unlike most themed years, the year as a whole is being led by the Scottish Government rather than VisitScotland; this is because there are elements to this themed year which don’t fall under public events and tourism. Other partners involved with the year include Young Scot and the Scottish Youth Parliament.

The purpose of the year is:

  • To ensure young people are heard
  • To showcase young people through events and media
  • To foster intergenerational respect
  • To recognise the impact of people supporting young people (e.g. teachers, youth workers)
  • To provide opportunities for young people to express themselves

The target age range for the year is 8-26 years, but there is some common-sense flexibility to this. This age range was set by co-design a few years ago.

Co-design and co-production is at the heart of the Year, and these have been required elements for events financially supported by the Year. For partner events, which benefit by association with the Year but are not funded by it, the requirement for co-design and co-production is relaxed.

Multi-coloured circle with abstract design and the text Year of Young PeopleHow can I get involved with the Year?

All the funding for events has now been allocated (VisitScotland, through its EventScotland arm, will be financially supporting 30-40 events). However, you can still register your event or activity for the partner event programme. This will give you in-kind support, including:

  • Use of the Year of Young People 2018 logo and other branding
  • Listing on the VisitScotland website (gets 20 million visits each year, with a good mix of domestic and international users)
  • Possible increased press and media attention (the VisitScotland website is the first place VisitScotland staff will look if they get a media inquiry, so make sure your event is on there!)

To be eligible for listing as a partner event, you need to be running an event that somehow relates to the purpose of the Year and which would be suitable for members of the public – locals and/or overseas visitors – to attend. You can sign up at any point this calendar year. There are currently around 100 partner events registered.

You can also help amplify the momentum behind the Year by tagging your relevant tweets with @YOYP2018 #YOYP2018 (already 25,000 users of the latter). Little things matter!

What are future years going to be, and how can I get involved with them?

VisitScotland is moving to doing themed years every other year, to give organisations time to regroup, evaluate and prepare their offering for the next year. Upcoming years are:

  • 2020: Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Water (funding call for activities likely late 2018 or early 2019; possibly 2 rounds)
  • 2022: Year of Scotland’s Stories

You can stay informed about future opportunities, including funding, by:


Q&A at the Twilight

Who is coordinating the STEM at the Helix event?

This is being coordinated by Falkirk Community Trust.

Can you do an event that is age 18+ only?

Yes! Events which reach only part of the target age range are fine, as long as the support the Year’s overarching aims.

Can you list a specific opportunity targeting young people if it is part of a larger activity that has a broader audience (e.g. Doors Open Day)?


What is my event is about and/or for young people but not open to the public to attend?

It may be of interest to Scottish Government colleagues involved with the year. Email information to Chelsea and she will try to pass you on to the right person.

Is co-production essential for the partner programme?

No. It’s obviously encouraged but, as EventScotland isn’t funding, it’s not a strict requirement.

How are the themed years chosen?

They are chosen with big events and anniversaries in mind.

Useful resources