THE National Yes Network (NYN) is one of the national groups affiliated with Believe In Scotland (BIS).

NYN is composed of representatives of Yes groups from all across Scotland. The NYN holds regular Zoom meetings to discuss and support issues and initiatives, share information from and with the Yes community, and meet with leaders in the independence movement.

Recently, NYN has collaborated on the draft interim constitution for Scotland, and a draft manifesto for the General Election.

NYN has hosted writer Gerry Hassan, newly appointed Minister for Independence Jamie Hepburn, constitutional expert Dr Elliot Bulmer, Jane McAllister whose film To See Ourselves will be a campaign asset and Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp on the collaboration efforts between NYN and BIS.

READ MORE: You can get a grassroots special edition spread and special offer!

NYN supports the upcoming events promoted by BIS such as the Days of Action across the country to get activists out and to chat with the public about a better Scotland.

BIS has excellent materials such as leaflets on the wellbeing economy, Scotland’s wealth and pensions, and the Scotland The Brief book of facts.

These materials are based on research and have been vetted for their use with undecided voters.

The upcoming dates for these days of action are flexible for local groups and can include many other creative and useful activities.

The topics we’ve found important in our street stalls are Brexit and the EU, the NHS, the wellbeing economy and Scotland’s wealth of renewables and energy sources.

The march and rally for an independent Scotland in the EU on September 2 in Edinburgh is something NYN is supporting with BIS, Yes4EU and others, as the network supports Scotland being an independent full member of the EU and has welcomed contributions from Yes4EU activists.

NYN also spent considerable time on the draft interim constitution for Scotland initiated by Michael Russell in 2021.

We’ve had brilliant discussions about what the country can and will be like when we’re independent.

We believe that a draft interim and written constitution which guarantees rights, freedoms, protections and democracy is a campaign tool, and absolutely necessary to get Scotland ready to be independent.

The recently published white paper by the Scottish Government on a written constitution for Scotland fits well into our efforts.

Voter suppression by the UK Government and Parliament is of great concern to NYN as we head towards a General Election which also reduces and confuses electoral boundaries and requires unreasonable photo identification.

Efforts by local Yes groups to register voters and set them up for postal voting will be a huge focus this summer and autumn as we campaign for an independent Scotland.

NYN regularly discusses the challenges facing our local Yes groups and activists.

It’s important for activists to get support and encouragement from all of us and do not get too hard on themselves when there is little local support for action.

We must make people aware that once the campaign gets under way then they can expect more involvement and interest by local folk.

The biggest frustration for local groups is when there are party-political splits in the indy movement which are proving that divide and conquer works.

READ MORE: Aberdeen: How we put young people at the heart of the campaign

It doesn’t help the undecided or “soft No” voters when they hear supposed independence supporters saying negative things about the Scottish Government, the SNP and the Greens.

This discourages confidence that Scotland will be capable of governing and growing our country once we are independent.

The Aberdeen Independence Movement has been in the fore of involving young people in independence efforts, and having AIM members in the NYN has helped us understand what local groups can do differently to engage with, support and consider the youth vote.

It is believed that once a date is clear, younger independence supporters will get more involved, and we will need to support them to run their own campaign, to take their lead and learn from them.