Highlights from Tending the Light: Festival of Care 2022

What does it take to Tend the Light and keep a beacon burning brightly on the wild, sea-swept rocks of our coastal communities? What does it take to keep the light shining, illuminating the rocks and hazards below and guiding folks to the safety of harbour?

From Friday 18th – Tuesday 22nd February, Tending the Light, Shetland’s Festival of Care 2022 asked what it takes for us to Tend the Light and keep the beacons burning brightly for Care Experienced people across Scotland? What is the light that we are tending? Is it the light of The Promise, the light of love and care, of doing things differently? Is it tending our own light, making sure it burns brightly so it can be seen by those who need it? Is it the light of our Care Experienced people, nurturing their own inner beacons, supporting them to shine brightly, lifelong?

You can still watch the Launch Film here…

And the Closing Celebration Film!

Although the festival may be over, you can still explore the Festival of Care 2022 interactive map here.


Map image credit to Anupa Gardner.

The Twilight Gathering

On the final day of the Festival, we held an online ‘Twilight Gathering’ bringing Care Experienced people, professionals and decision makers together to explore what it means to ‘Tend the Light’ for Care Experienced people, with particular focus on how to support mental health, relationships and wellbeing. This included attendance from MSPs, the Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing and the Deputy First Minister.

We hosted a panel discussion with prominent ‘Lighthouse Keepers’: Lynda Greig from our National Representative Body, Megan Moffat from our Board and Bruce Adamson, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland. This was followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Artist, Anupa Gardner, created a graphic of the panel discussion:

Breakout rooms then allow attendees to hear directly from Care Experienced people across Scotland about what they have been doing in their local area to create change, especially around mental health.

This work included the #SHETLANDCREW who performed a verbatim theatre piece on Home and Belonging, the ‘Today Not Tomorrow’ group from North Lanarkshire presenting their work on mental health, a video from the East Lothian Champions Board about mental health and a group from Angus who presented findings from a local survey on mental health and care experience.

Discussion throughout focused on the action needed going forward to #KeepThePromise, including hearing from Lynda about the findings and asks from our Mental Health Annual Participation Programme report.

To read about our seven asks for change, please read the ‘Tend Our Light’ report here.

Check out the responses from Ministers who attended the Gathering:

With thanks to Scottish Local Authorities, funding partners and donors who make our work possible.