Dumfries and Galloway Champions Board
Dumfries and Galloway Champions Board was awarded initial funding of £221,150 for the period of April 2017 to March 2020. They were awarded a further £99,858 to run from April 2020 to March 2022.
Dumfries and Galloway's Champions Board is a meeting that takes place three times per year with young people who have experience of care involved in the Listen2Us project, and senior management who have a corporate parenting responsibility. The purpose of the group is to work in partnership to improve the lives and well-being of young people with care experience in Dumfries and Galloway.
They have some areas of work that they focus on, including:
- increasing young people’s participation in all areas in a rural setting
- involving local service networks – particularly the third sector- in informing and supporting the work of the Champions Board, so that they integrate the aspirations and support of care experienced young people into local development activity
- applying a co-production model where young people lead reviews to redesign care leaving care services
- supporting an individual grant scheme to provide self-directed support to young people with care experience in pursuing their individual aspirations
There are also numerous groups throughout Dumfries and Galloway for young people that centre on fun and socialising, building networks and increasing confidence. All of the Champions Board activities focus on what young people with care experience have to say and listening to what is important to them.
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.