Life Changes Trust

A tremendous piece of funding news received last week with the announcement by The Life Changes Trust of a grant of £220,000 to support Aberdeen’s Champions Board  and its work with care experienced young people in the City.

As the Trust’s media release says: “Champions Boards provide a platform for young people to talk directly to local authority staff, elected members and service providers to ensure that decisions which affect their lives are informed by their own experiences.  Through Champions Boards, care experienced young people themselves can influence improvements in the services and support available to them.

Aberdeen’s Champions Board has been developing over the last few years. This funding will be used to support the engagement and empowerment of even more care experienced young people across the region, allowing them to set the agenda around their futures.

Champions Boards themselves are relatively new in Scotland, but are already proving to be extremely effective.  They provide an opportunity for young people to articulate the challenges that being in care can bring and how these challenges can be faced and overcome with the right support. 

Champions Boards aim to put young people in the driving seat, where their views, opinions and aspirations are central.

They build the capacity of young people to influence change themselves by showing confidence in their abilities and potential, giving them the platform to flourish and grow. 

Funding has come from the Life Changes Trust, an independent charity established with a Big Lottery Fund endowment of £50 million to improve the lives of two key groups in Scotland: care experienced young people and people affected by dementia.

Aberdeen is one of 8 local authority areas receiving funding to support or establish Champions Boards.  A total of £2 million has been awarded to Aberdeen, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Dundee, Falkirk, Highland and Dumfries & Galloway.”

I’d like to pay particular tribute to our colleagues Dave Bliss, Megan Rhynd, Kelly MacKenzie, Andrea Swan and David Purvis for all the work they together put in to our successful bid to the scheme.

Rights Respecting School

Congratulations to the pupils and staff at Riverbank School which has recently become the first school in the UK to have been awarded a Level 2 accreditation as a UNICEF Rights Respecting School for the third successive time.

This is great news and is testament to the superb work that goes on at the school.  Well done to everyone involved.

There’s more information about the scheme here – Rights Respecting Schools

Integrated health and care, day one

Congratulations to Judith Proctor, Tom Cowan and the whole team from both Aberdeen City Council and NHS Grampian on the launch today of Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership. 

Great work done by all to get to this point, an exciting journey ahead. 

Spring is Sprung?

This was to be my “better weather’s on the way, enjoy the school holidays” blog, but having spent yesterday evening sitting outside in the Marischal College Quadrangle, I’m not entirely convinced!

Still, while hoping that they’ll be able to stand down soon, I do want to put on record my appreciation for the work of all those involved in making sure the City withstands whatever the Winter weather throws at us and as we move into April I do hope we can look forward to warmer temperatures.

If you’re taking time off during the coming two weeks I hope you have an enjoyable break and come back refreshed.  There’s plenty to do.


A huge thank you to all colleagues involved in bringing the spectacular GRANITE project to fruition at Marischal College yesterday evening.  I know that it has taken many hours dedicated work over an extended period of time.

I found it fascinating and certainly enjoyed learning more about Aberdeen’s history.  As a Dundonian, I must admit though that subtitles might have been helpful at some points!

Everyone involved has every right to be incredibly proud of what they have achieved.