IN my short years as an activist, I have never felt more confident that Scotland will become an independent country. That day may come sooner or later, but it is approaching.

However, whilst we eagerly wait for the start gun to fire, the crucially important question for grassroots independence supporters simply is: how?

In 2014, Unionists won one last chance. They won time. Time to show young people who voted Yes in their droves the benefits of remaining within the "union of equals". It gave them time to display why a No vote was the right thing for EU citizens who were promised that a Yes vote would see Scotland out of the EU. It gave them time to articulate, positively, the pros of remaining part of the UK to those who firmly believed in it.

It is now 2018. Young people have been left to witness the most reactionary, backward government since Thatcher, which has undone many of the securities our parents' generation had the luxury of, with the knowledge it was only Holyrood protecting them from everything from the Bedroom Tax to incremental privation of the NHS. EU citizens have been used as bargaining chips throughout the UK’s process of exiting the EU and Westminster has reneged on every promise made in the lead up to the No vote in 2014.

Now is the time to get ready. To prepare. To anticipate. To do the ground work for the next independence campaign. We have never been closer to achieving the independence which this country so rightly deserves. But just because the campaign hasn’t been announced does not mean we should sit and wait. That is why I am so happy to be part of Aberdeen Independence Movement (AIM): an organisation which was formed just last month to locally build the support for Scottish independence in the north-east.

This means approaching different communities within the area and articulating our views of how independence can and will benefit the people in and around Aberdeen. Independence will mean something uniquely different from one person to the next and so the message and arguments we put forth must speak to every single region in Scotland.

What we must build upon is that the support we gathered in the 2014 campaign was precisely because, despite widely differing personal circumstances, people from all across Scotland were able to find something practically and morally appealing about the idea of independence.

A country where everyone can truly all flourish is not just a dream, but a reality waiting to be grasped. AIM aims (pardon the pun) to be an organisation which will demonstrate the personal and community benefits which an independent Scotland will bring to people within the local area of Aberdeen. A non-party organisation that is focused on creating the conditions in which a Yes vote can and will be won.

It is crucial for our movement and our end goal that we have these local umbrella groups that make the case for independence personal and local, rather than nationwide. Independence for people in the Central Belt is different to independence for people in the north-east, and that’s true for every region. If there isn’t such a thing in your local area, ask why? Go to your local political party or community group’s branch and gather support for the idea and help make the case for independence were you live.

Hosting local events, reaching out to local organisations and having a presence within Aberdeen will help our movement. Join AIM on Sunday for the North East Scottish Independence Conference, where we will be joined by a broad array of local organisations that will present their ideas about why Scottish independence will help their cause.

We’ll be hearing from disabled people, Women for Independence, EU Citizens, Pensioners for Indy, the Common Weal, RIC, and many more. We hope that people will try to bring along people who are not yet convinced, so they can ask questions and we can find the answers together. We’ll be having discussions and workshops on how we progress as a movement.

It is time to build a Yes vote. Start now. AIM higher.

Theo Forbes is an organiser of this Sunday's Aberdeen Independence Movement (AIM) Aberdeen Independence Movement. Tickets are available here.