65% Of Region’s 18-15 Year Old’s Plan To Stay In The Region In The Future New Survey Says

Dumfries and Galloway Council will receive a report on the findings of a recent consultation carried out with 10,828 young people aged 10 to 25 years, at a meeting of Full Council on Tuesday 27 June.

Facilitated and published by the Council’s Youth Work Team, the consultation – named 10,000 Voices – involved 51.7% of young people in the region. The report gathers the views of young people and their perspectives about the communities in which they live and the issues that affect them.

The research in the report is the region’s largest collection of young people’s voice and comes five years on from the first ever 10,000 Voices consultation that was carried out in 2018.

Council Convener, Councillor Malcolm Johnstone said: “The number of young people that took part in the 2023 consultation was higher than in 2018. The findings will be used to develop a wide range of strategic and operational plans in our Council’s services and will help direct the work of community planning partners across the region. We have made a commitment that our Youth Work Service will create a five-year plan that will aim to tackle the key issues identified by young people themselves and ensure we direct the right kind of support to them.”

The first part of the research was based on the Scottish Government’s Place Standards questionnaire and asked young people how they felt about the community where they live, work or study and presented 14 questions specific to the physical environment (buildings, street, public spaces and natural spaces) and the social environment (relationships, social contacts and support networks).

They were asked to score each question on a scale of 1 – 7, 1 meaning there is a lot of room for improvement, and 7 meaning there is very little room for improvement.

Of the 14 questions asked, the highest scoring responses across the region were in relation to young people feeling safe in their community, being able to regularly experience good quality natural spaces, and that young people felt they were easily walk and cycle around the local area.

Councillor Johnstone added: “The Council’s vision of Dumfries and Galloway being a natural place to live, work, visit and invest is supported by young people’s positive perceptions of the local natural spaces across the region and I am delighted to learn that of the 55% of young people who plan to leave the region in the future for travel, work or study, that more than a quarter of them intend to come back.”

The consultation also asked young people about the issues that affect them. The top five issues for young people in the region was identified as smoking and vaping, diet and body image, mental health, bullying and money, budgeting and the cost of living. When compared against the same question asked in 2018, the only shift in the results was money, budgeting and the cost of living now featuring within the top five answers, with transport dropping down the ranks. Smoking and vaping, diet and body image, mental health and bullying was in the top five issues in 2018 and remained there in the recent consultation.

The report is presented as a regional overview of young people’s views, that is then broken down into ward areas. This will allow local communities, elected representatives, organisations, schools and other professionals to examine the results relevant to their area. Readers can also examine data analysed by age, gender and the perspectives of young people who are LGBT, care experienced, young carers and young people with additional support needs and disabilities.

Over the next few weeks, the Youth Work Service will host a series of events across the region, inviting anyone who would like the opportunity to examine the findings in more detail to come along and join the conversation. You can find out about these events on the Youth Work social media pages at www.facebook.com/youthworkdg

You can find a full copy of the report at: https://dumgal.gov.uk/youthwork

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