Shine a light for Care Day 2021

In communities across the Highlands and Islands, we are asking people to carry out the simple task of shining a light in their windows this month as a beacon of support to young people in care.

Care Day, the annual international celebration of the Care Experienced community, will take place on Friday 19 February.

Chair of The Highland Council’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, Councillor Linda Munro said: “Each year, Care Day is held in February to celebrate the talents of Care Experienced young people and raise public awareness of what being in care means. Covid-19 restrictions have limited this year’s celebration and so we are asking communities across Highland to create paper lighthouses and put them in windows, shop fronts, and school hubs.”

The celebrations will include a festival (based in Shetland but celebrated across the Highlands and Islands), which will be launched online at noon on Care Day by Maree Todd MSP, the Scottish Minister for Children and Young People.

Cllr Munro added: “There will be an extensive programme of virtual events, including workshops, for professionals, carers and practitioners, exploring how best we can support young people in care (whether that’s with foster carers or relatives, or in residential homes). The goal is that with increased understanding of the practical steps we can take together to better support our children and young people, we can reduce barriers facing young people who are already dealing with adverse circumstances.”

At the opening ceremony of the Shetland Festival of Care event, the Highland CHAMPS flag will be raised and supported by amazing musicians, CHAMPS Piper Mitch Leslie and Saxophone player Dean MacLean. 

The workshops will be led by Bruce Adamson (Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland); James Docherty (a leading voice for awareness of adverse childhood experiences (ACES), and 42nd Street, a young people’s mental health and wellbeing service.

To support Care Day 2021 in Highland, the organisers will be posting on social media from Monday onwards using #CareDay21 to flood social media with beacons of light. They are encouraging people to get involved by posting photos of their lights and selfies are encouraged.

Buildings across Inverness will be bathed in red light to show their support for Care Day and to raise awareness of care experience in Highland. You might even spot a special Care Experience Flag flying high in Inverness too!

More information and templates to build your own beacon can be found on the organisers website.

15 Feb 2021