Care Day 2023 was celebrated on Friday 17th February, and saw the return of the Carelidh – our ceilidh event in celebration of Care Experienced people. For the first time in three years, Care Experienced people from all over the country got together, connected and took to the floor for a night of dancing in Edinburgh.
Over 260 attendees enjoyed a live Ceilidh band, a food and drinks buffet, entertainment and fun, and to add the excitement, there was an appearance from our very own Buddy the Bear!
This year, our Care Day theme was around #ChallengingStigma – acknowledging the stigma Care Experienced people can experience, as well as the importance of challenging that stigma and the positive impact this can have for society as a whole.
We marked this theme with a special ceremony during the Carelidh, recognising those who, either personally or as part of their work, have played a part in challenging the stigma that Care Experienced people often face. Actors, activists and writers were among those recognised.
Recipients included Emma Reeves for her role in writing hit TV series The Beaker Girls featuring Dani Harmer as Tracy Beaker, Rebekah Pierre for her work as an author and multimedia journalist, Terry Galloway for his passionate campaigning and Sue Dickson collected an award for her late husband Ian Dickson, an advocate, and a much loved campaigner for the Care Experienced community.
Awards were also given to writer and poet Lemn Sissay, Tracy Beaker actor and presenter Dani Harmer, TV presenter and reporter Ashley John-Baptiste, Oscar nominated actor Barry Keoghan, award winning actor Brian Cox and multi-award winning comedian and writer Sophie Willan, who were unable to attend the event to accept them in person.
Members of our National Representative Body also received awards showing our appreciation for their work championing Care Experienced people and representing our members, as their two year term in post came to an end. A huge thank you to Jasmin, Nicole, Shannon, Amie, Katrina, Louise Lynda, Marissa, Tia, Kira, Thomas and Xavier. Our gratitude also to Oisin and Charles who will continue their roles as Who Cares? Scotland MSYPs.
Our CEO Louise spoke about the event: “The Carelidh was an incredible evening full of love, connection and fun.
“There are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about the Care Experienced community, that through our work we know to be far from true.
“That is why this Care Day we wanted to celebrate Care Experienced people and their allies, who are challenging the stigma faced by the Care Experienced community. The people we have recognised have all in different ways helped show how Care Experienced people, with the right support, can truly thrive.”
We also celebrated many Care Experienced people through our Celebration Station. Thanks for all your nominations. See those celebrated below.
Congratulations to Charles McFarlane for winning our poetry competition. Charles performed his Care Day poem on the night to much applause. Read it here. Well done to our runners up who will have their poems published in the next issue of SpeakOut.
Thank you everyone for celebrating Care Day 2023, #ChallengingStigma and joining us at the Carelidh. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! We have loads of amazing photos from the night, which we’ll be sharing here on our website.