Aberdeen City Champions Board
Aberdeen City Champions Board was awarded initial funding of £219,117 for the period April 2016 to March 2019. They were awarded a further £100,000 to run from April 2019 to March 2021.
Aberdeen City’s Champions Board has a particular focus on young people’s participation, input and leadership within the Board, as well as improving and changing the local care system.
ACE (Aberdeen Care Experienced) is the support network for all young people with care experience in Aberdeen. They participate in social activities, and engage in action to make care experience a better experience.
ACE is developed with young people, and the name ACE recognises that care experienced people can be influencers of change. ACE will continue to challenge stigma and stereotypes, raise aspirations and champion equality for care experienced people. It builds on current progress and draws on the resources of Who Cares? Scotland to ensure a lifetime of equality, respect and love for care experienced people.
More about the Champions Boards initiative
Champions Boards support young people with experience of care to work alongside those who make decisions about the care system. In this way, they are involved in the decisions that affect their own lives. Based primarily within Local Authorities, they are a vehicle for young people, Corporate Parents, and other professionals to come together with a shared goal. The aim is to ensure that services are tailored and responsive to the needs of young people with care experience. Champions Boards provide a powerful space for young people, elected members and key decision makers to come together, focussing on what works and what needs attention in their local area. Champions Boards build the capacity of young people to influence change, empower them by showing confidence in their abilities and potential, and give them the platform to flourish and grow.
Young people themselves set the agenda, learn leadership skills and advocate on behalf of their peers. They bring a vital dynamic that has a direct impact on decision-making in their own areas, and become engaged and active citizens as a result. The Champions Board approach is characterised by genuine relationships being formed between young people, staff, and Corporate Parents. This shift in culture from consultation to participation, from ‘doing to’ to ‘doing with’ is key in a Champions Board approach.
Champions Boards continue to be a fundamental part of the Life Changes Trust’s approach to creating transformational and sustainable change. In 2016, the Life Changes Trust invested over £2 million of funding for the first wave of Champions Boards. In 2017, the second wave was launched, bringing the total investment to over £4.4 million. The Trust now invests in 21 Champions Boards across Scotland and a national Network to support them.