Renfrewshire Champions Board
Renfrewshire Champions Board was awarded initial funding of £223,778 for the period of April 2016 to March 2019. They were awarded a further £224,000 to run from March 2019 to January 2021.
Renfrewshire Champions Board is a group of young people with care experience that meet to improve the experiences of other children and young people. They consider the thoughts and views of young people, on different themes, to identify what is important to them based on their own experiences, then represent those views by talking to the people that make decisions at the council. Their overall aim is to make things better for young people with care experience across Renfrewshire, working together with Corporate Parents to improve policy and practice.
Those involved in the Champions Board take part in team building and confidence building activities. They also have opportunities to focus on their priorities and to discuss the Renfrewshire small grants and mentoring programmes for young people with care experience.
Social media training is provided to support young people to engage with a wider group, and, thanks to their work with Renfrewshire Council, over 400 leisure passes have been issued to young people with care experience.
The Renfrewshire Champions Board Rep’s meeting is held every month.
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.