Young people across Scotland are being asked to nominate a single word which makes them ‘proud’ to live in the country.

The #Scotword campaign will see the word lit up by torchlight in Holyrood Park on 30 December as part of the annual Hogmanay series of celebrations.

The word will be visible from the air and event organisers hope it will be an iconic image among the many which project Edinburgh’s famous New Year’s celebrations around the world.

Young people are to be the focus of next year’s Scottish Govermnent supported themed year – the Year of Young People 2018.

Underbelly, the first-time organisers of Hogmanay since winning the contract from Unique Events, is working with a number of partners including the Scottish Government, EventScotland and Young Scot to realise the project.

The Scotland-wide engagement campaign, which launches today, is co-designed and led by young people and will see them reach out to their peers around Scotland, aged 8-26, in a quest to find #ScotWord.

Around Scotland, young #ScotWord Champions, many of whom are Year of Young People 2018 Ambassadors, have volunteered to deliver workshops with young people in their own local authority.

The workshops have been co-designed by young people, and will encourage participants in three age groups; 8-11, 12-15 and 16-26, to reflect on what Scotland means to them, to share their hopes and aspirations for Scotland’s – and their own – future, and to choose and share their own #ScotWord.

Early interest and uptake has been high across the country, according to organisers, with a ‘broadly diverse range of groups already signed up to take part including; Young Carers, North Edinburgh Young People’s Forum and LGBT Youth Scotland. Every young person in Scotland is encouraged to take part in the project, regardless of whether they identify as Scottish.’

Alongside the peer-led workshops, a digital campaign will ask Scotland’s young people “What makes you proud to live in Scotland?” From 13th October until 30th November, young people are encouraged to submit their suggestions of the one word that describes why they’re proud to live in Scotland via the website

They will also be invited to upload videos online explaining their choice of word, helping to inspire others, creating an increased sense of community, democracy and pride among Scotland’s young people, and giving them a platform to have their voices heard on a global stage.

The engagement campaign will conclude on St Andrew’s Day, after which the ScotWord Champions will draw up a shortlist of potential #ScotWords. The shortlist will then be thrown open to an online vote, at the beginning of December, with everyone in Scotland encouraged to vote for their choice. The #ScotWord which wins the public vote will form the stunning culmination of the iconic Torchlight Procession launching Edinburgh’s Hogmanay to the world with a uniquely Scottish iconic new image and an international message representing the values of young people in Scotland at the beginning of the Year of Young People 2018.

Nina Nesbitt is the Lead Champion for the campaign and will lead the call to Scotland’s young people to get involved. She said “I’m proud to be part of the #ScotWord project as I’m passionate about helping the younger generation of Scotland have access to great opportunities and build a better future together.” [Short film of Nina here]

Hogmanay 2018 is bigger than ever before; new elements include Bairns Afore, Message from the Skies, a revamped Torchlight Procession, Hogmanay HQ, extra stages and activities across the Street Party arena, new viewing areas and the move of The Ceilidh to West Princes Street Gardens under Edinburgh Castle.