Who Cares? Scotland is delighted to announce that our Care Family Christmas planning group won the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Young Scot Awards 2017. The group was thrilled to accept the award, which celebrates their dedication to making sure care experienced people felt part of a family on Christmas Day.
The committee is made up entirely of care experienced Who Cares? Scotland members. Amy, a committee member, accepted the award:
Nobody should be alone at Christmas. Every minute that we volunteered was about tackling the fact that in Scotland, some care experienced people wake up on Christmas morning alone. Some might be in their own flat, some might be in a bed and breakfast, a hostel. Or like me, in a hospital bed.
Being named Volunteers of the Year was overwhelming. exciting and a reminder of the work that we put in to make our Care Family Christmas a reality. I’m so proud of what we have achieved, but most of all I’m so happy that our work made a difference.
Christmas can feel so different when you’ve grown up in care.
For me, spending time with loved ones was never a given. Being part of the planning group showed me that I wasn’t the only one who experienced this. For some, it might not be safe to go back to our birth family on the 25th. But policies might mean it is not possible to return to the place we were in care. So we’re caught in the middle on a day that’s we’re told over and over again is special.
We set out to give all the other people who felt that way a place to be. We worked hard to raise money, to decorate the venue and to build public support. Most importantly, we made sure that everyone who needs to knew they had a home with us on the day.
On Christmas Day, we had over 50 care experienced people with us. They had somewhere to go and a family to be with.
Extraordinary support from people who weren’t care experienced but wanted to help us meant so much. We had volunteers who helped with transport, professional chefs planning and cooking the Christmas meal, and more donations of decorations and presents that we knew what to do with. The day itself was unbelievable. We all knew what we had been through and why we were there. Everyone got along so well. It was a proper family Christmas.
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who helped. We couldn’t do it without your support. Please don’t forget about us in 2017. This is an opportunity to give even more people who would be alone on Christmas Day somewhere to go.