Littlehouse Media

Millburn Academy ensures a warm welcome to Inverness Youth Hostel

15 year-old Reanne MacRae from Inverness, who attends the city’s Millburn Academy, has won the school’s live project to design a large mural for SYHA Hostelling Scotland’s Inverness Youth Hostel, situated next door to the school.


SYHA Hostelling Scotland’s Northern Operations Manager, Dan Osborne, invited Millburn Academy to paint a mural on a section of wall running from the car park towards the hostel’s reception. The brief was to submit a design for a painted mural that would not only be a welcome to Inverness for guests coming to the youth hostel from all over the world but also convey something of the identity of the local area.


Millburn Academy set 3rd Year students (General Education Art and Design) a live design brief, giving them essential experience of the world of work, and 44 pupils aged 13 to 15 were involved in submitting designs, some individually and some in small groups.


Gavin Maclean, Rector of Millburn Academy, said: “This session Millburn Academy has welcomed the opportunity to further develop the excellent relationship we have enjoyed with Inverness Youth Hostel. The live process of designing and formally presenting their ideas has provided pupils with an excellent opportunity not only to develop their creative skills but also their communication and presentation skills.

“Our pupils have enjoyed and benefitted tremendously from the opportunity to work with one of our community partners on a live project, to work to a creative design brief, present and ultimately complete the project at Inverness Youth Hostel. The chosen design clearly reflected a multicultural approach to welcoming tourism to the Highlands.”


John Jones, Inverness Youth Hostel Manger, said: “The standard of the designs was very high and showed considerable artistic ability in the young people of the area; as well as a great deal of pride and a strong sense of identity.


“Inverness Youth Hostel staff were tasked with passing a shortlist of 6 on to SYHA’s CEO, Keith Legge, and Deputy CEO, Margo Paterson, for the final decision. However, so good were the designs that we sent 9 shortlisted entries. We were particularly impressed with Reanne MacRae’s fantastic design, as it incorporated ‘Welcome’ into the design in many different languages, reflecting the draw of the city to many different nationalities together with the youth hostel’s diverse customer base; as well as the local and national legend that is ‘Nessie’.”



Reanne MacRae will be rewarded for her winning design with a weekend stay in an SYHA Youth Hostel of her choice for her and her family. Certificates will also be presented to all pupils who took part in the live project and in the final painting of the giant Loch Ness Monster design.


Inverness Youth Hostel has a good relationship with Millburn Academy and the staff have hosted youth volunteers from the school in recent years.


Lois Marshall, SYHA Hostelling Scotland’s Youth and Volunteer Engagement Manager, said: “SYHA is proud to develop our partnerships with schools, to offer young people from the local community this fantastic opportunity to take the lead in both designing and painting a mural which will welcome visitors from around the world to Inverness Youth Hostel.”


The pupils have now commenced the initial sketching and blocking out of the winning mural and will make a start on the painting in the coming weeks.


The team from the Inverness Dulux Centre has kindly donated all the paint for the mural project and SYHA Hostelling Scotland are very grateful for this fantastic support.




Media contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: [email protected] | M: 07913 951717 | 0131 526 3980


Useful links:

SYHA Hostelling Scotland –

Inverness Youth Hostel –


SYHA on Twitter – #syhadventure

SYHA on Facebook –


Millburn Academy –


Notes to editors:

SYHA Hostelling Scotland is a self-funding charity operating a network of nearly 60 exceptional youth and affiliate hostels for the benefit of all those wishing to learn and experience what Scotland has to offer. Our unique sites provide affordable, comfortable, safe and quality-assured accommodation with a warm friendly welcome, local knowledge, activities and services for guests travelling around Scotland.


Members enjoy a range of exclusive benefits including dual membership of Hostelling International, providing access to more than 4,000 youth hostels in over 90 countries worldwide. Membership and guest overnight income supports our charitable youth programmes and the maintenance of the hostelling network, particularly in rural Scotland.

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