Year of Young People

By John Paul Photography

The Year of Young People 2018 is now into its sixth month! Where has the time gone?

Piping At Forres is delighted to be part of Scotland’s Year of Young People, which is an opportunity for generations to come together and celebrate our nation’s young people. One of the themes of the year is to provide a platform for young people aged between 8-26 to showcase their ideas and talents, and the organisers of Piping At Forres (PAF) have embraced this remit and done just that.

The event itself has always has a link to young people. Each year over 1,000 young pipers and drummers join their bands in the arena to compete in the European Pipe Band Championships. And local primary schools carry placards announcing the names of the Bands as they march into the main arena to discover who has been crowned the European Pipe Band Champions.

But this year, the organisers of Piping At Forres have gone a step further and under the direction of Ainsley James who was appointed PAF’s Year of Young People Co-ordinator, they have included many more local youngsters in what has now become Moray’s biggest one-day event.

Piping At Forres is actively supporting a number of projects and has been encouraging youth organisations to showcase and celebrate their skills and talents.  There has been a diverse range of activities, some now completed and others coming to fruition at the European Pipe Band Championships on 30 June at Grant Park, Forres and an event on 1 July.

Modern Language students from the whole of third year at Forres Academy designed leaflets in French and German to advertise Forres and the surrounding area to visitors. A prize giving ceremony introduced by the skirl of the pipes was held at the school and the leaflets were later displayed to the public at a local Garden Centre.

Not to be outdone by the World Tattie Scone Competition, which is held at the European Pipe Band Championships on 30 June, a junior version helped to launch tickets going on sale for Piping At Forres.

The event, supported by Mackenzie & Cruickshank Garden Centre, attracted teams from six of the local primary schools demonstrating their culinary skills in front of a panel of Judges. Dallas Primary School took the prize with their winning recipe of a buffalo tattie scone. Yes, buffalo and locally sourced too!

Logie Primary School has also embraced the Year of Young People and in May, their social enterprise café called the Cup of Joy was run with a Scottish theme in an effort to help promote Piping At Forres. A young player from the Forres & District Pipe Band offered her services by playing before and after the event.

Forres & District Pipe Band who have always supported Piping At Forres and have a huge youth movement are currently fundraising for kit for the younger players and are part of the “blue token” scheme run by Tesco. Their young players have given their services freely at a number of the Year of Young people activities.

Piping At Forres also launched a ‘Spot the Logos’ competition, which is running at the moment in Forres High street. Young people under the age of 18 have to find the Piping At Forres and Year of Young People logos in 12shop windows. This fun activity with a generous prize of a family ticket to Piping At Forres and a cinema voucher coincides with Scottish Week.

Volunteers are also key to the success of Piping At Forres and we are delighted that a number of youth organisations have volunteered to help out on June 30. Groups of Scouts from Moray and Police Scotland Youth Volunteers will be teamed up with the local volunteers on the day.

Also, three of the Scouts who have been chosen to represent Moray at the World Jamboree in America next summer are part of the Piping At Forres team at the Toun Mercat in Forres on 8 June in addition to having a stall on 30 June to help generate their fundraising for the trip.

One of Moray’s Year of Young People ambassadors has agreed to help in the AES Solar Interactive Science Tent at the event using her engineering skills as part of “hands on” activities for young people.

A local singing group made up of young people and supported by Piping At Forres are rehearsing a song composed from scratch which will be featured as part of a private event for the Volunteers who help make Piping At Forres so special at the beginning of July. A 21–year-old piper will also be performing at this event.

As Piping At Forres’ involvement with the European Pipe Band Championships comes to an end after six years in Forres, young people’s skills and achievements have certainly been showcased and celebrated.

Year of Young People co-ordinator for Piping At Forres Ainsley James has thoroughly enjoyed being part of The Year of Young People experience and has been amazed by the enthusiasm and inspiration of all the young people she has had the privilege of meeting and working with.

“Thank you for reminding all of us just how much of a contribution you make to so many people”