In respect of the spirits we have lost, we need to keep these young people at the front of our minds to ensure that we don't lose anyone else!
We grew up and have lived in the Highlands for almost 40 years. We've been to school, got in trouble, worked with the community, tried to work out where we fit, and survived.
Some of us have moved away to big cities, and some of us have stayed here and had families. The Highlands feels like home, but its not perfect.
Without exception, all of my sub-40 friends know at least one person from the Highlands who has left too early, and that has to be acknowledged. So why is such a beautiful place so hard and what can we do to change that?
The Highlands needs young promising people to stay here and make their lives here. It needs young people to think that's an acceptable thing to do. To make the Highlands the promising place it should be, we need to find a compromise between the twee external image that attracts tourists, and the freedom, familiarity, and challenging perceptions that make it a great place to grow up, but a hard place to stay, or to leave.
Despite the hurt and confusion we have all experienced over the years, we love the Highlands, but we want more. Young people with aspirations need to be supported and encouraged to stay.
We need our young people to feel valued in our own community - to feel safe, listened to and nurtured. In respect of the spirits we have lost, we need to keep these young people at the front of our minds to ensure that we don't lose anyone else!
We Want to Hear From You!
Share your stories of moving to the Highlands and Islands
Stories are at the heart of what we do as a project and we are always looking to learn more about what the Highlands and Islands means to people who live, work, and visit here.
Where we call home becomes the foundation of our lives and can form a large part of our identity. As inspired by this story we would love to know, what is your experience of moving to the Highlands and Islands? Tell us below, we can't wait to hear from you!
Click here to share your story through our online story portal