I’M still buzzing from the energy and optimism of Saturday’s Scottish Independence Convention event.

Everything that was discussed pointed to both a strong re-emergence of the Yes campaign but crucially how much work we still have to do. Of all that was said from the podium, these words stand out the most: “new talent”. Cat Boyd’s words were for me the most passionate and straight-hitting, suggesting that the new leaders of the Yes campaign should be from this “mew talent”.

As I sat there beside her listening, I was looking out to a lot of familiar faces. The new talent she was referring to were sitting right there in the audience, a number of people I have had the pleasure to meet, talk to and share ideas with. I had a speech written but time was a bit tight and the fact that I wanted Tony McCandless, another founder of Yes2, to join me and speak as he does so well meant that I decided to cut short my oratory.

So when we went up to address the audience I forgot all the phrases and sound bites I had worked on and decided to just speak from my heart. I have to admit I was very nervous as this public speaking lark is still all so new.

In that audience are the new leaders of the Yes campaign; people who, like myself, decided after the disastrous result of 2014 that we would carry on campaigning for what we believe in our hearts to be right, an independent Scotland. I paid particular tribute in the short space I had to Carol Gilmore from Yes Kelty. When I said she is an inspiration I truly meant it. There have been times in the past two years that sometimes have been difficult, but when I think of the work this lady puts in I tell myself to get on with it.

Carol isn’t the only person to inspire and give me continued determination: Jim Stamper from Yes Rutherglen is another, and the whole team from Yes Dunfermline, Maz Hastings from Yes2 Airdrie and Shotts, Gregg Drysdale from Yes Stirling, John Gillespie from Yes Lochaber, Eddie Morgan from Aye2Aye, Chris Graham who leads the Yes Bikers. There are many more and I’m sorry I can’t list you all here, but I do recognise equally the work you put in. These wonderful people are but just a few of those who keep me going and keep Yes2 infused with determination.

Now I’m not suggesting in any way that these people should be thrust into the limelight of the campaign, but what I am saying is that they, along with all the other people who put an equal amount of hard work and passion into their own particular groups, are putting everything they can into Scottish independence and they deserve all the respect we can give them. In their own quiet way they are leading.

On the flip side, the people there like Lesley Riddoch, Robin McAlpine, Cat herself, Stewart Kirkpatrick and even Paul Kavanagh (he’ll probably give me earache for saying this) have a strong track record and crucially respect to continue and build a new campaign around this nation.

I would like to see “new talent” emerge as it is vital we get new and different ideas and approaches but bear in mind that in every village, town and city there are people slogging away, and these are the people who will man/woman the street stalls and address the churches and community centre audiences as Tony McCandless mentioned.

Yes2 are now discussing amongst ourselves how to address these locations as best we can to get information and importantly inspire fresh and new determination to the people who either lost hope or can’t see what difference it will make.

The SNP will give us the chance of another referendum; the grassroots will deliver it.

John McHarg is a founder of Yes2