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Inverclyde Champions Board

Inverclyde Champions Board was awarded initial funding of £225,000 for the period of April 2017 to March 2020.  They were awarded further funding of £100,000 to run from April 2020 to March 2022.

The purpose of this award is to further develop Inverclyde’s Champions Board for young people with care experience. The Board provides an opportunity for strategic leaders and young people to work together, and a forum where they can engage in participatory decision-making with the Inverclyde local authority.

Young people with care experience are at the core of the board - they set the agenda, so that discussions and decisions are meaningful to them. 

The Inverclyde Champions Board ensures that others with care experience in the area are able to access help and assistance when they need it, and that the transition through the care journey is as supported as possible. It particularly focuses on good physical and mental health, opportunities in education and employment, and access to safe and secure housing.

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.