Young people lead ‘Chat for Change’ in Highland

An event led by young people in the Highlands who have experience of living in care has been fully booked out by young people, professionals, elected members and the wider community attending.

The “Chat for Change” Highland partnership event, which is the first of its kind in Scotland, takes place this evening (Wed 19) and tomorrow, Thursday 20 August.

Care experienced young people will be talking about their stories during the event which has been organised by Highland’s own Care Experienced Development Assistants in partnership with Who Cares? Scotland. 

The event begins tonight with the showing of the film: “Care: My Story - Who Cares? Scotland.”  The documentary film was commissioned by Who Cares? Scotland and follows the journey of Ashley Cameron and Thomas Timlin, two care experienced young people who are using their stories to make a difference to the lives of other looked after young people in Scotland. The film explores the path which has allowed both Ashley and Thomas to develop into the activists they are today.

Following the screening, Ashley, Thomas and two of Highland’s Care Experienced Development Assistants will hold a question and answer session.

Tomorrow (Thursday 20) an all-day conference will be held at Eden Court one touch theatre.  The day will be chaired by Jemma MacDonald one of Highland’s Care Experienced development assistants and Denny Ford, Who Cares? Scotland.

A short film about Highlands Care experienced young people’s views “Care Experience in the Highlands” will be launched at the beginning of the conference and the following key note speakers will address delegates:

  • Bill Whyte, Edinburgh University on “Understanding the importance of relationships”. 
  • Bill Alexander, Highland Council’s Director of Care and Learning on “Providing Residential Services that are not only safe, but also nurturing”.

Workshops will be run by: Calman Trust; CELCIS; Barnardos; SCRA; Who Cares? Scotland; and Care Visions.  The workshops will consider creative ideas about improving outcomes for care experienced young people, such as: developing lifelong relationships, peer mentoring, employment, and corporate parenting.

The conference will conclude with a drama presentation from Highlands own care experienced development assistants. 

Bill Alexander Director of Care and Learning said: “I am excited about this event and the opportunities it brings for us to discuss and plan for real change to make a positive difference in the lives of our care experienced young people.  Our Care Experienced Development Assistants are amazing individuals and have already raised awareness of the issues they face and how they think we can make a difference in Highland.  We are privileged to work in partnership with Who Cares? Scotland who have provided opportunities for our young people in Highland to develop their confidence and become real activists for the rights of care experienced young people.  It is a real learning opportunity for our staff to work with both our Development Assistants and Who Cares? Scotland and I know this event will be a great success and will help us plan the way forward with the real experts leading us.”

19 Aug 2015
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