Champion roles for Older People and Children & Young People begin to take shape

Following the successful appointment of six elected members to the roles of Children and Young People Champion and Champion for Older People in August 2022, members of today’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee have been presented with an update on the work which has been undertaken to shape and develop these roles.

In August 2022, Councillors Lyndsey Johnston, Pauline Munro and Chris Birt were appointed as Children and Young People Champions.

Meanwhile, Councillors Isabelle MacKenzie, Thomas MacLennan and Bill Boyd were elected to take on the role of Champion for Older People.

Since their appointment, all six Champions have met with officers within the Health & Social Care directorate to have preliminary discussions and to establish areas of interest and how the role can be supported.

The preliminary view is that five areas of interest have been identified where the ambassadorial role of the champions might have an impact.  Those areas are:

• Adult Social Care including Adult Protection and the role of carers

• Transport

• Housing

• Money advice and cost of living crisis

• Health

In addition, the three Older People Champions have been linking in with national forums in order to identify relevant issues, supported by attendance at the recent Scottish Older People’s Assembly meeting in Perth.

Chair of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, Councillor David Fraser, said:  “The role of Champions for both sectors is an ambassadorial role – their job is to act as a link between the Council and the two sectors being championed in Highland.  Within the Council chamber, it is intended that the Champions will amplify the voices of those they are representing.”

Councillor Fraser continued:  “Today’s update has highlighted encouraging early progress in enabling the Champions to develop and mold the role on matters and themes of particular importance to the people of the Highlands.  This model will help to define the role remit and will ensure that a broad mix of themes are organically represented by the Champions who have a sincere interest in advocating for those individuals.”

Councillor David Fraser concluded by saying:  “I would like to thank the Champions for their work to date and look forward to their progress and achievements being reported to future meetings of this Committee.”

9 Nov 2022