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Young Scots get to have their say in CAS survey

Citizens Advice Scotland is today (Thursday) launching its first ever national survey of young people in Scotland.

The ‘Being Young Being Heard’ survey, using the networking site Facebook, is open to all people in Scotland aged between 16-25 (inclusive). It focuses on their experience of the recession, and on their hopes and fears of the future of the economy. The survey is online now on the CAS website and can be completed anytime before 5pm on Friday 10 September. Paper copies are also available on request from all of Scotland’s 83 CABs.

Launching the survey today, CAS Acting Chief Executive Susan McPhee said,

“Young Scots are our future, yet people very rarely ask them directly what they think. With this survey we want to put that right. In particular, we want to give Scotland’s youth an opportunity to tell us what they think of the economic situation – both in terms of how it has impacted on them already and how they think it will affect them in the future.

“Surveys of young people tend to concentrate only on those in higher education. But we want to include all of Scotland’s youth, not just university students. Facebook allows us to do that. Every young Scot who can connect to a computer has the opportunity to have their say – and we hope they all will.

“That includes students and non-students, those who are working and those who are unemployed, those still living with their parents and those who have started out on their own, those who were born in Scotland and those who have come here from elsewhere. In fact anyone who is based in Scotland today and who is between the ages of 16-25 can take part.

“It’s very exciting. We don’t know what the results will be, but we are determined to listen, and to respond accordingly.”

The survey is designed so it can be completed in just a few minutes, though some of the questions are open enough that participants can choose to give more information if they like.


CAS put this survey together with the help of a group of young people who work in CAB offices around Scotland. These include Ashley Donald of Motherwell and Stuart Davidson of Nairn, both of whom are quoted below (biographies attached at the end of this press release – and photos available on request).

21year-old (Ms) Ashley Donald said about today’s launch,

“I was really happy to be involved in this because I think it’s great that someone is actually seeking out the views of young people - especially as they are focusing specifically on the economy. That’s not something we’re used to.

“I feel that the image of young Scots is restricted too often to portrayals of gangs or hoodies. Sometimes it seems our opinions are only sought when the subject is relatively trivial - like music or football - or when it’s something negative, like crime and drugs. So all credit to CAS for taking this initiative.

“Of course it’s very important that they don’t just ask the questions but listen to the responses. But I’m confident they will do that. The CAB service does terrific work and their record speaks for itself, going back 70 years now. They have no agenda other than to help people, so hopefully this survey will lead to better help for young people in future.”

17 year-old Stuart Davidson said,

“I’ve already sent messages to all my facebook friends asking them to fill the survey in - although paper copies are available on request from local CABs if people prefer to do it that way. Whichever way you do it, It’s really easy to fill in, and yet it covers a lot of serious issues.

“I hope we get a huge response. It’s the first survey of its kind as far as I’m aware and I think young people need to show that we are engaged in these issues and we are prepared to take them seriously.

“After all, young people are the one group in society who are not to blame at all for the current economic mess. Yet we’re the ones who are going to have to live with it for a long time to come!”


Ashley Donald is 21 years old and lives in Motherwell. She is a former nursing student at Glasgow University, and she also worked as a part-time waitress at a local hotel in her late teens, but was then unemployed for 2 years and living on Jobseekers Allowance. She is now working at Coatbridge CAB, under a government-funded employment scheme.
Photos can be obtained on request, and Ashley is also available for further interview.

Stuart Davidson is 17 years old and lives in Nairn. He is currently a 6th year pupil at Nairn Academy and hopes to go to university next year to study law. In the meantime he helps out at Nairn CAB as a volunteer in his spare time. He helped put together the survey for CAS.
Photos are available on request, and he is also willing to be interviewed further and/or photographed.