AS has long been predicted on these pages, the Yes movement is beginning to come together in new and innovative fashions. It really is now a “Yes DIY movement”, as named by Paul Kavanagh.

The National Yes Network is the latest coming together of groups joining with each other to forge collaborative ways of working.

It told the Yes DIY page: “The National Yes Network is an exciting new body formed by representatives of local indy organisations – and every Yes group in Scotland is invited to be a part of it.

“The National Yes Network’s core function is to create connections within and across the regions of our nation which both harness the power of a cohesive movement whilst retaining the autonomy of local groups and building on their connections with their own communities, reflecting their needs, wants and aspirations.”

The idea for the network grew out of Yes Highlands and Islands, which has a highly successful co-operative model. Local activist, Alison Fraser, explains: “Yes Groups within our network are autonomous. Many have a bank account and some kind of constitution. They may also have a committee structure, regular meetings, or they may be more fluid according to what suits the local group. Our Highlands Network includes all of these Yes groups for the purpose of meeting regularly.

“Our regional body does not have a constitution, committee, communal funds or a bank account but it does have regular meetings, an agenda for each meeting, minutes of each meeting, a network secretary to send out the agenda and minutes to the Yes groups. We take turns, a different Yes group hosts and takes the minutes for each meeting.”

This model is being used successfully in other areas, with groups like Yes Angus adapting the idea to suit the local dynamic.

Ian Dickson of Yes Forfar said: “We have a WhatsApp chat which keeps representatives from each Yes group in Angus in touch with what we each are up to. This is great for providing support to each other and sharing ideas. Before lockdown, we had co-ordinated campaigning with activists from across Angus going to each local group’s area in turn. In one morning we could have large areas of our towns leafleted. We developed a terrific sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

“We connect with groups in our surrounding communities so we share knowledge, ideas, and activism with Yessers in Dundee, Fife, Aberdeenshire and Blairgowrie. It’s a really important way of supporting each other. We see this National Yes Network as a logical and important extension of this idea.”

Groups from Orkney to Selkirk are involved so far, and Sharon Trish, one of the architects of the National Yes Network, is keen for every Yes group in Scotland to come on board.

She said: “We are working to contact every Yes group in Scotland. We’ve reached out through the National Yes Registry, social media, and every email address we could find but we know there are groups we haven’t made contact with yet. We would love to hear from you!

“The National Yes Network is about building connections, creating regional squads of local Yes groups which create an amorphous body, a form of joyous anarchy which truly is grassroots led. This is about each of us driving the Yes movement forward, together, as well as creating a positive vision for what a future independent Scotland will look like – one which has local democracy and accountability at its core.

“Our politicians are elected to represent the people of Scotland. The Yes movement is well-placed to pressure those elected by the people to act on our democratically-expressed wishes.”

Iain McGlade of Yes Eastwood said: “As an active member of Yes Eastwood and a believer in having links and working with my neighbouring Yes groups, I’m pleased to see that others feel the same.

“It’s only by making those network connections that we’ll ensure that we maximise the chances to get the message out. That message should be one of confidence and hope because this country is a great place with an awesome future ahead if we just trust in our own abilities.

Lindsay McCrea of Yes Edinburgh and Lothian said: “Yes Edinburgh and Lothian are really pleased with the formation of NYN as one of the best progressions for the independence movement since the referendum. Bringing the whole of the Yes movement together to win next time can only be good.”

Lynn Hastie, secretary of Yes Haddington and District, said:“We are very excited to be a part of the National Yes Network – it’s reassuring to know you can just reach out and there will be other Yes groups there to give support and provides confidence that we’re moving forward together.”

And Brian Allan of Yes North East said: “We’re looking forward to a sea change in grassroots activity across Scotland. The new National Yes Network will service the building of a more cohesive, and therefore better heard, grassroots movement. That will in turn ensure that an independent Scotland is successful in providing a better life for all who live, work and play here.”

It seems like an idea whose time has come.

If you are part of a Yes group and would like to get involved with the National Yes Network, please email