THERE IS still time to sign up to the free 'Young Rural Change Makers Programme' which begins this week.

This exciting opportunity being run by the Rural Youth Project (RYP), will focus on building leadership and enterprise skills and takes place over five-weeks starting this Friday, October 16.

The training initiative has been designed to support young people to build their confidence, develop new skills and be part of a network to help them thrive in their own rural area. 

The courses will run every Friday from October 16 and the programme will be delivered by external trainers in a series of masterclasses with experts in leadership, community building, enterprise and communications and will include vital one-to-one support for young people.

RYP director, Rebecca Dawes said, “From our experience, young people in rural areas are incredibly resilient, and are full of creative and inspiring ideas. The challenge that many of them face is having the confidence to turn their idea into a reality and knowing where to start their journey.

“Whether it is a community project, commercial business or social enterprise, this programme will give young people the time to learn from each other, build their network and benefit from the expertise of the coaches who have been at the forefront of rural life working with Growbiz, Smart Village Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Rural Action and Jane Craigie Marketing to name just five organisations.”

Young people are likely to be the hardest hit by the pandemic with career paths abruptly disrupted. Ms Dawes added that this programme aims to tackle these concerns head-on.

Luke Taylor from West Lothian launched his own podcast to share experiences with countryside rangers across the world, after attending a RYP workshop.

"The Young Rural Change Makers Programme offers the opportunity to reassess your future, in my case as a seasonal worker, and offers the support and skills that you need to make your own idea come true, without limitations or restriction,” explained Mr Taylor.

The RYP hopes to bring together the youngsters who complete the programme at a special event in 2021, to celebrate their ‘graduation’ and further their networking opportunities, if Covid-19 restrictions allow.

The Young Rural Change Maker’s Programme is free to any young rural person between 18 and 28 years of age.

Applications can be submitted HERE and further questions can be directed to

Programme Timetable:

• Welcome/ Leadership Workshop – 16 October - 9:30am till 12:30pm

• Community Building Workshop - 23 October - 9:30am till 11:30am

• Optional Ideas Café – 28 October – 6:30pm till 7:30pm

• Enterprise workshop - 30 October - 9:30am till 11:30am

• Communications Workshop - 06 November - 9:30am till 11:30am

• Graduation/Final Workshop (face-to-face, if possible) - Jan/ Feb 2021 - 9:30am till 11:30am