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Scotland’s leading place charity, PAS, has announced the creation of a new Youth Education Team, to expand on its already thriving programme with young people.

Wojciech Borowski will take up the new post of Youth Programmes Manager and David Ferguson will join the organisation to assist with this work.

The focus of the new team will be the rollout of PAS’ recently successful pilot “Bridging the Gap” programme in Galashiels to four new areas, particularly focusing on working in communities lower on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

PAS is Scotland’s leading place and built environment charity. Its work includes everything from a free planning advice and mentoring service, to tailored training and public engagement events catering for members of the public, planning professionals, local authorities, public bodies, elected members, community groups, young people, volunteers, and for those simply interested in how planning is shaping their environment.

Working with young people is a particularly important part of the charity’s work, as they are often a group that is furthest removed from planning and placemaking. The expansion comes at an important time during Scotland’s Year of Young People and PAS’ 25th birthday.
Speaking about the announcement, PAS Chief Executive, Petra Biberbach, said:

“PAS has always seen it as a priority to help young people and other seldom-heard communities to have a say in the shaping their environment. However, the creation of a new team takes this work to a new level, and it comes at the right time in the Year of Young People.

We have had a lot of success with new and innovative projects aimed at engaging young people, embracing all that modern technology has to offer. We’re now going to take that learning and massively expand its reach across Scotland.”

David McAllister, Communication and Parliamentary Liaison Manager, said:

“Our work has shown that when young people have their voices heard by decision makers, whether it is Councillors, MSPs or Planning Officials, it can be extremely powerful and they can have a major influence on the places in which they live, work and socialise. Our task is to break down the existing barriers to participation, so more and more young people are having their voices heard.”

New Youth Programmes Manager, Wojciech Borowski, said:

“Many people say that young people aren’t interested in planning, and to an extent they are right. When we talk about planning in a jargonistic way, and about a system of processes, it can be hard to engage with anyone. However, when we reframe the conversation to be about the types of places young people want to see for their future, and embrace digital technology to empower them to express their ideas, it changes the whole conversation and leads to genuine enthusiasm and interest in the future of their place.”