The first ever international gathering of Care Experienced people
In 2012, twenty-one Care Experienced people gave evidence in the Scottish Parliament. They spoke about life before, during and after care. In turn, the first piece of legislation to meaningfully engage and reflect the needs of Care Experienced people was created. Since then, Care Experienced people have been at the forefront of Scottish politics and are driving change.
Who Cares? Scotland recognises that Care Experienced people are speaking out across Scotland, the UK and the world. The momentum for change has never felt stronger. Our members have challenged us to share our learning, give a platform to new voices and create a space where the global Care Experienced movement can be realised. This is why we are facilitating the first annual Global Care Family Gathering in North Ayrshire on Saturday 27th October. To watch the event back click here.
This Family Gathering was no other. It was curated and delivered entirely by Care Experienced people. It supported Care Experienced people, from across the world, to connect over their shared identity. And it set out a global ambition for change beyond borders.
These Care Experienced people, and many more, are going to make history:
In 2016, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon invited Care Experienced people to meet with her as part of a documentary they were making with Scottish broadcaster STV. In that meeting, the First Minister promised that the ability for Care Experienced people to have their voice heard would be there.
Since then, the First Minister has announced a root and branch review of the care system, attended dozens of events and, as part of her 1,000 Voices commitment, met with hundreds of Care Experienced people to hear directly from them about their lives.
In 2018, the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework for children and young people was updated to include the outcome “We grow up loved, safe and respected…”
Matilda wants to be the first indigenous woman and Care Experienced person in space. She made US Aeronautical history breaking the sound barrier with a rocket team comprised of all indigenous engineers. She is coming to Scotland from California and will be talking about what it means to have an identity made up of so many different experiences. After completing an internship with them, NASA published an article about Matilda’s inspiring ambitions.
When Callum shared his experience of going from a care home to Harvard, it was seen by over one million people online and led to a new spotlight on the potential and ability of Care Experienced people. The First Minister attended Callum’s graduation and in 2018, he undertook a research trip to Sweden and California to meet with Care Experienced people and people delivering care. It was during this trip that Callum saw first hand that many of the issues faced by Care Experienced people extend beyond borders and led to him calling for this Global Gathering.
After completing a degree in history from the University of Cambridge, Ashley’s curiosity took him on a path towards journalism and supporting other people to tell their story. His first documentary, “Care Home Kids – Looking For Love” was where he realised he loves listening to people. Ashley was nominated for the Royal Television Society Young Talent of the Year award at the Television Journalism Awards 2018, worked on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme and is now a BBC News Reporter.
Ishbel has cycled the world and is still pedalling. Following her travels, Ishbel wrote about book about her life. She shared her experience of care so that others would feel like there was someone who could understand them and that adversity can be overcome. She was recently featured in an article in the Daily Record.
Kevin has spent his entire life campaigning for things to be different for Care Experienced people. After working at the office of The Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland and leading on the participation of Care Experienced people in their Sweet 16 report, Kevin worked as an advocate and supported Care Experienced people to claim their rights. He is the first Care Experienced Director at Who Cares? Scotland and has written about why this matters to him.
Carmel is an Educational Psychologist and believes that Care Experienced people being able to understand and process their lives is key to moving forward. Carmel lived in kinship care with her gran and, after spending time as a world touring professional wrestler, is committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people. She has spoken out as part of a campaign by the National Confidential Forum that encourages people to shine a light on care and speak about their experiences.
Jordan is an activist and campaigner who puts building community at the heart of his work. Recognising a gap in England for Care Experienced people to speak to national government and policy makers, Jordan established the Drive Forward Policy Forum. This brings together Care Experienced people on their own terms and has become a place for action. The group most recently met with Westminster’s Children’s Minister Nadhim Zahawi.
Renee is a social worker from New Zealand who challenges the stigma that is faced by Care Experienced people. She has spoken up about the need for brothers and sisters to not to be separated when they are taken into care. Renee is the Chair of the VOYCE Whakarongo Mai National Youth Council and has spoken up in this role about her experience of care and her hopes for Care Experienced people.
Charlotte is a contributor to BBC Scotland’s online channel “The Social” and has used her platform to challenge stereotypical portrayals of Care Experienced people in the media. She is a youth worker and supports people with experience of care to talk to local leaders about the issues that matter to them.
Charlotte’s talk will come from Tamil Nadu, South India where she is taking part in an international leadership programme before volunteering at a residential children’s home in Vatsalya Udayan.
Dr Michell is a feminist theologian and social researcher whose research interests are focuses around the themes of lived experience, marginalisation and transformation. Dee became looked after by the South Australian State in 1960 and remained in foster care for 15 years. She worked as an administrator for a multi-national corporation before going to university in her 40s, when she combined study with primary care for her three children. Being a Care Experienced parent has made Dee examine her relationship with the word “love” and how it fits in her life.