Glasgow Champions Board
Glasgow Champions Board was awarded funding of £224,807 for the period of November 2017 to October 2020
Glasgow Champions Board includes young people with care experience in all aspects of their work, putting them at the heart of its efforts to improve their future prospects. Young people have the opportunity to improve their talents and skills, become more confident and have much more say in the development and delivery of services that affect their lives.
The purpose of the Champions Board meetings is to establish the aims, objectives and outcomes for the Board, based on the priorities identified by young people themselves. This enables them to build trust and relationships with one another other and with the support staff.
Their Champions Board approach involves partnership working across services and agencies, establishing the ‘Young People’s Board’. Key partners include Who Cares? Scotland, MCR Pathways, Social Work Services and Children’s Right Team. This group co-ordinate and support the Young People’s Board meetings, listening to the young people and building relationships with them based on trust and understanding.
Priority areas for improvement identified by young people with care experience themselves include educational attainment and achievement, accommodation, emotional and mental health and increased engagement between young people and corporate parents.
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.