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University of Highlands and Islands


The University of Highlands and Islands was awarded £192,614 for the period of 2019 to 2022

The Life Changes Trust Home and Belonging initiative has been designed to provide an opportunity to re-imagine what a fulfilling future can look like for a young person with care experience once they move on from formal care, based around a safe, welcoming and personal space – their home.

It will support young people to find a strong sense of home and belonging in their own communities, recognising that “home is not a place, it is a feeling.” All of the projects take a service design approach, were designed with young people using creative approaches, and will involve young people with care experience in their delivery and evaluation.

The University of Highlands and Islands project is an ambitious, collaborative and arts based exploration of home and belonging founded on creative enquiry by young people with care experience alongside their communities.

It brings young people from across the islands alongside key partners to ensure young people in Shetland, Orkney and beyond, both now and in the future, feel that they have a home and not just another place to stay.

Young people with care experience will actively share and shape what home and belonging means to them in the context of the islands, neighbourhoods, services, systems and the communities they belong to. They will be offered specialist workshops and imaginative opportunities to develop skills to explore and realise their ideas, such as digital skills, textiles, drama, community planning, writing and cooking. They will also be encouraged to take on a leadership role and reach out to other young people.

The project will also explore the group’s suggestion of a home starter ‘leaving box’ (including cutlery, a ‘manual for how to work a house’, etc.).  This project will be carried out in collaboration with Who Cares? Scotland, Shetland Islands Council, Orkney Childcare and Young People’s Partnership (OCYPP), Shetland Arts Development Agency, Hjaltland Housing Association and OPEN (Our Peer Education Network).

Read more about the University of Highlands and Islands