Midlothian Champions Board
Midlothian Champions Board was awarded initial funding of £193,380 for the period of July 2016 to June 2019. They were awarded a further £99,316 to run from July 2019 to June 2021.
Midlothian Champions Board is a group for young people and children who are currently or have experience of the care system. As well as Midlothian young people, others with care experience from other local authorities who live or are in education in Midlothian are invited. All of their groups focus on the positives and negatives in care in Midlothian specifically looking at education, employment, health and safety, housing and "Care, Communication and Relationships".
To feed this back they hold Board events three times a year for professionals to attend from Midlothian Council and other third sectors such as Police Scotland, NHS Lothian, SCRA and Skills Development Scotland.
Their groups are:
- Midlothian Champs - main group (every fortnight for 12+)
- Mini Champs (3-11)
- Care Leavers (16+)
- High School Lunch Club (in all 6 schools)
- Parents Group
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.