Robin Downie looks back on 'an inspiring year' as National Youth Assembly begins

Robin Downie has had a cracking year as National Youth Assembly Moderator, from visiting the site of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to speaking with young people living in Israel, Palestine and Jordan. Now, as he hands over the baton to Tamsin Dingwall at this weekend’s National Youth Assembly, Robin reflects on his experiences.

Robin Downie at the General Assembly 2018
Robin Downie, NYA Moderator 2017-2018

Describing his year as “fantastic with so many high points”, Robin said:

“Having the opportunity to represent the National Youth Assembly (NYA) at so many opportunities has been a privilege.

“The youth representatives have done a great job and helped me out a huge amount.

“Of course a couple of highlights were going to Rwanda and learning more about interfaith as well as the 1994 genocide.

“Travelling to the Holy Land with the Moderator was also a trip I will never forget. It was an inspiring experience.

“Over the course of the year I feel like I have developed so much. It has been inspiring learning about the Church and all the different things it is doing.”

A photo collage of some of Robin Downie's experiences whilst NYA Moderator
Robin Downie has had a cracking year as National Youth Assembly Moderator, from visiting the site of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to speaking with young people living in Israel, Palestine and Jordan

Tamsin Dingwall will start her year as NYA Moderator today, and Robin feels confident in handing over to her.

“Tamsin will be superb and take the role to a new level, I’m sure.

“She is a very gifted individual who is down to earth and holds a strong faith.

“I am looking forward to seeing how well she will do over the year. Last year was Tamsin’s first year at NYA so she knows what it’s like for people who don’t know anything about it. She will be super at welcoming them and helping them to fit in.

“Overall, Tamsin brings a huge amount to the table, alongside her charm and smile.”

Tamsin Dingwall ‘honoured and still slightly shocked’

Tamsin Dingwall, NYA Moderator 2018-2019
Tamsin Dingwall, NYA Moderator 2018-2019

Tamsin will spend her year working with the team of 18 youth reps to explore how the discussions will be followed up and the voice of young people can be heard throughout the year.

She will also represent the NYA at various events and encourage young people to take an active role in the National Councils and Committees of the Church.

Tamsin said:

“I am so honoured and still slightly shocked that I have been chosen to be the Youth Moderator of the National Youth Assembly this year.

“This will be only my second year at NYA and I am overjoyed that I will have the privilege of leading the discussions on end of life issues, ecumenism and social media. These are such topical issues and I feel some of the discussions may be rather difficult and emotional; I can't wait to see what people have to say regarding these topics.

"I truly hope that I can continue to take full advantage of all the amazing opportunities that the National Youth Assembly has given me. I would like to help other young people new to faith and the NYA to see what amazing things they can achieve with such an incredibly supportive Church."

Tamsin will be joined by Seonaid Knox as NYA Clerk, where Seonaid will play a primarily supportive role, assisting with the production of the annual report and getting involved with the Church at local, national and international levels.

National Youth Assembly 2018

National Youth Assembly 2018
From left to right: Catriona Munro (NYA Clerk 2017-18), Seonaid Knox (NYA Clerk 2018-19), Tamsin Dingwall (NYA Moderator 2018-19), Robin Downie (NYA Moderator 2017-18)

This weekend’s event will see 80 17-25 year olds with a connection to the Church descending on Gartmore House in Stirlingshire to discuss a series of topics in preparation for a report which will be presented to next year’s General Assembly.

The three key topics being discussed this year will be:

  • End of life issues
  • Ecumenism
  • Social media.

You can keep up to date with the National Youth Assembly by visiting their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.

To keep up with Tamsin during her year as NYA Moderator, follow her on Twitter.

Find out more about Tamsin and Seonaid on the National Youth Assembly pages.

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