We have an exciting update about how Who Cares? Scotland’s members’ views and wishes are shaping our organisation right now!
Our membership consultation last year gathered the views and experiences of Who Cares? Scotland members across all 32 council areas in Scotland. We’ve compiled these responses into a report, and you can read either:
Our National Representative Body, senior managers and staff teams have been discussing the changes we have already made based on what we heard, and the changes we need to make in the coming year to ensure the best possible membership experience.
Members wanted us to talk more about mental health. Listen to our NRB member Shannon, from Shetland, talk about the plans that are in place to do this and why it’s so important:
Members told us that a lack of self-confidence can be a major barrier to attending our events. NRB member Lynda, from Paisley, talks us through our new buddy system, which will increase the accessibility of our events.
We also want to ensure Care Experienced people of all ages can have a direct say in Who Cares? Scotland’s priorities. We’re particularly interested in expanding the opportunities for our younger members to influence and shape our organisation. NRB member Louise, from South Ayrshire, tells us about the importance of including as many of our younger members as possible:
It’s so important that we fully engage with our important younger members in a way that is more age appropriate. They need to feel they have the same platform as everyone else to share their thoughts and feelings on what they truly need from us and ensure that they have every opportunity to be more involved within the community. By engaging with younger members, I hope that we can do our part in helping to create better outcomes for children in terms of feeling supported and included within the Care Experienced community and ensuring equal opportunities for everyone.
I hope that we can kick start the conversation about the early years sector and begin exploring the importance of even younger children, from birth onwards, and how we can create opportunities for them to be included within our community. How can the early years sector better support children who are Care Experienced? And what can we, as Who Cares? Scotland members and volunteers, do to facilitate opportunities for them to be included? Our membership could pioneer this change, for the children who can’t yet speak up for themselves, so that no child feels left behind. Being part of the Who Cares? Scotland family is something that all Care Experienced children deserve, regardless of what age they are.
Who Cares Scotland’s CEO, Louise Hunter, said...
After reading the findings from the 2020 Membership Survey, I want to start by saying thank you to all the members who shared their views with us. Your honest feedback gives us the opportunity to grow stronger and ensure that our members are at the front and centre of our work.
You have asked for more inclusive opportunities; better communication; and a more personalised approach to membership. One of the ways we are responding to this ask is by launching our Get Into Summer activity programme, which will run across the country from July. This will be an opportunity for you to connect in person and have fun with other members and our staff teams.
In the report, members spoke about feeling valued and represented, and that being part of WC?S is like being part of a family. I want to ensure that all our members feel like this and that every Care Experienced person in Scotland has the opportunity to be part of WC?S.
As a membership organisation, making sure our members feel well represented, valued and connected is of utmost importance and something I intend to play a direct role in. SoIf you would like to get in touch with me, please email CEO@whocaresscotland.org and we can arrange a time to meet on zoom or I’ll write a response, personally.
Some of the changes being made this year include:
We are already excited to get started on the 2021 consultation with the NRB to see what our members think and suggest we do next year!
With thanks to Scottish Local Authorities, funding partners and donors who make our work possible.