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.