New magazine aimed at isolated teenagers across the Borders

Isolation for youngsters living in the more rural parts of the Borders can be an issue - something that one teenager intends doing something about.

Eighteen year old Charlotte Redpath from Fountainhall near Galashiels is publishing a magazine for young people, specifically aimed at tackling the isolation she feels exists in the region and bringing together the youngsters affected by it.

Charlotte believes limited transport links, a lack of activities for young people and the distance between rural towns and villages can limit the opportunities available to young people.

“It’s difficult when you live here to go out and have fun,” she says, “because it’s so far from anywhere that has an event or organisation.

“It can be really lonely at times. I think it helps that I have a really close relationship with my Dad so there’s always somebody there, but he’s not 18.”

Fixers, a charity that supports 16-25 year olds to tackle issues that fire them up, is supporting Charlotte’s bid to produce the magazine and distribute it to schools, sports centres, youth centres and other facilities used by young people.

“I want to help young people link in with each other so they can feel part of something,” she says.

Lisa Surgey, from the Penumbra Youth Project mental health programme, says the issues raised by Charlotte need to be taken seriously.

“It’s really significant in the Borders with young people being socially isolated.

“People can become very depressed. People can become low in their mood. Things such as self-harm can increase if somebody uses that as a coping strategy.

“I’ve seen people who have been very suicidal.”