Help me find 1,000 voices of care experience

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets care experienced young people.

Carly Edgar says the third sector has a massive role to play in letting 1,000 Voices be heard

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31st May 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

Last year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made a personal commitment to Who Cares? Scotland’s 1000 Voices campaign.

That campaign, a desire for care experienced people to be listened to by the most senior politician in Scotland, was supported by 20 other third sector organisations.

This week the first minister affirmed that commitment by detailing how the one thousand care experienced people that she hears from will become part of the root and branch review of care.

Who Cares? Scotland called for this review and it is my job to make sure that, no matter what their age or stage, care experienced people can share what they want to with the first minister.

Carly Edgar

Carly Edgar

1000 Voices comes from a simple belief - that every single person has a different, yet valuable collection of knowledge, wisdom and experience

1000 Voices will not be the only way for care experienced people to feed into the review.

But it will harness the best of what Who Cares? Scotland has done for the past 40 years. We will take those voices straight to power and show that they can be part of change.

I want the process to have a positive benefit on those who contribute and for those 1000 Voices to be representative of all types of care and care experienced people.

I feel so passionately about that. Before I joined Who Cares? Scotland, I supported young women who were struggling as they transitioned in and out of care, prison, secure and mental health institutions.

There wasn’t one young woman that I didn’t see potential in, but they had been dealt an unfair hand and finding a way out of that is hard.

Sadly three of those young women are no longer here. They could only see one way out. They will not get to be one of the thousand voices.

1000 Voices comes from a very simple belief. It is the belief that every single person has a different, yet valuable collection of knowledge, wisdom and experience that they have gathered throughout their life.

And a belief that the knowledge, wisdom and experience that they have gathered can provide us with a solution to the decades of poor outcomes care experienced people have faced.

At Who Cares? Scotland, we know that sharing personal experience can be challenging, liberating, nerve-wracking and empowering. Often at the same time.

Whether it’s a TED Talk on YouTube; a poem in a magazine; a documentary on national TV or a letter to a children’s hearing; we have seen the care experienced voice create the most meaningful change.

I believe that good relationships are the best way to ensure that people feel comfortable to participate.

For this reason, I want to make a call to all organisations and local authorities: help connect the care experienced people that you know with 1000 Voices. This is a journey that we can and should take together.

During the coming months, we will be hosting events and focus groups across Scotland. 1000 Voices will be a national, regional and local endeavour.

From city living, rural life and everything in between. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to bring a representative and rich depth of voice to this process.

We need to understand what the best possible care experience is. Because then we can begin the process of ensuring that Scotland’s 15,000+ young people in care get it.

The third sector has a large role to play in making that ambition a reality.

Carly Edgar is Who Cares? Scotland’s 1000 Voices programme manager.