Care Festival “Tending the Light in the North” 2023 to be hosted at Inverness Town House

Tending the Light in the North – February 2023

Care Experienced leaders and young people from across the North of Scotland are travelling to Inverness this week for a major event, spanning the weekend, to celebrate National Care Day, commencing on 17 February.

Tending the Light in the North is centred around The Town House and will bring public sector leaders and practitioners alongside young people who have experience of growing up in care.  Over two days, they will explore how best to work together to ensure that every child grows up loved, safe and respected.  That aspiration is at the heart of ‘The Promise’, the national reform agenda to improve the lives of children and families who may experience care. 

Tending the Light in the North builds on the powerful metaphor of light and beacons, particularly the care, collaboration, and effort required of lighthouse keepers across coastal communities in Scotland.  They kept lights burning brightly across the dark waters through the hours of each night until the dawn arrived. 

Like those lighthouse keepers, the event will ask how do we Tend the Light for care experienced children and young people across the North of Scotland?

Chair of The Highland Council’s Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, Councillor David Fraser, commented:  “Each year, National Care Day is held in February to celebrate the talents of Care Experienced young people, raise public awareness of what being ‘in care’ means and illustrate how a creative and collaborative approach can create transformative change.  At its heart, Tending the Light will explore what co-design can look like, to produce the best-possible outcomes for care-experienced young people and ultimately to ensure that we keep “The Promise” we made to our children.”

He concluded by saying:  “On social media the organisers will be posting using the hashtags #TENDINGTHELIGHT and #CAREDAY, flooding social media with beacons of light.”

Provost of Inverness and Area, Councillor Glynis Sinclair, said:  “To support Care Day 2023 in Highland we are excited to be hosting Tending the Light festival of care at the Town House and welcoming Young Leaders from Highland, Moray and the Islands.  There are events over the two days for our children, young leaders and corporate parents."

The Provost continued:  “Buildings and bridges across Inverness will be bathed in red light to show support for Care Day and to raise awareness of care experience in Highland.  You might even spot the special Care Experience Flags flying high in Inverness too!”

Travellers to the event include the #SHETLANDCREW of Care Experienced leaders from Shetland, and members of Highland’s Care Experienced CHAMPS group are hosting a celebratory Prom on Saturday night.

Tending the Light in the North includes intensive workshops for professionals and leaders working alongside the Care Experienced community, and all of that collective endeavour at the Town House will be against the backdrop of Home and Belonging, a powerful exhibition of works created by the Care Experienced community alongside artists in a range of mediums.

In addition, the event will showcase live theatre performance, light installations and a Highland premier for The Salt Made Marks, a unique film from Shetland that explores what it can feel like to grow up ‘in care’.

A broad partnership is supporting the event, including Who Cares? Scotland, Highland Council, Moniack Mhor, UHI Centre for Island Creativity, Inspiring Young Voices and The Promise Scotland.

16 Feb 2023