South Ayrshire Champions Board
South Ayrshire Champions Board was awarded initial funding of £224,200 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.
South Ayrshire's Champions Board exists to give young people who have been looked after a voice and to use their care experience to create positive change. They are called Champions For Change.
The South Ayrshire Champions Board is working with young people with care experience in the area, engaging them in a meaningful dialogue and building successful relationships to give young people an opportunity to be heard and listened to by care staff, policy makers and Corporate Parents.
The Champions Board is also providing awareness training sessions to corporate parents across South Ayrshire from elected members to Head Teachers, Police Scotland and community representatives.
The Council has adopted a ‘Family Firm’ approach to ensure every young person with care experience in South Ayrshire is given support to access a wide range of vocational learning opportunities, including apprenticeships.
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.