The Hunter Foundation and Children in Need pledge £2m to help vulnerable Tayside kids

26th April, 2021 7:03 pm

BBC Children in Need and The Hunter Foundation have committed £2 million in supporting children in Tayside and East Ayrshire in the care system.

The funding will be released in partnership with each of the councils, building on work already undertaken with Dundee City Council and East Ayrshire Council.

Perth and Kinross and Angus councils will also benefit from the cash.

The project, called What Matters to You, involved families and young people determining their needs and what help is available from the care system in response.

‘Young people struggling to survive’

Part of the funding will enable the What Matters to You project to continue delivering for the next three years and have a greater impact on the children and families that it supports.

The work will aim to “bring children and families’ voices to the very heart of service reform”.

The funds are only a small element of the investment in supporting young people and families struggling to survive.

Sir Tom Hunter, founder of The Hunter Foundation, which also supports Kiltwalk Scotland said: “We want to play our part in turning the ambition for Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up in, into the reality that it is.

“The Care Review and subsequent promise is not the vision of a committee, it’s the reality of 5,500 voices, half of whom are care experienced. We owe it to them that their voice is heard, enabled and delivered upon.

“Whilst this is a relatively small commitment, it builds on our existing investments in this area and we hope to make further substantive commitments going forward. Scotland spends an inordinate sum on this system; that shows we care but it also shows we need to change as the outcomes are still far from acceptable for those young people touched by the very system that should be supporting them.”

Crucial work

Simon Antrobus, chief executive of BBC Children in Need, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this crucial work, in partnership with The Hunter Foundation.

“This £2m commitment will enable us to continue the work we have already started in Scotland, by listening to the voices of children and families and helping them flourish with their communities.”

‘Demanded change’

Fiona Duncan, chair of the Care Review and the Promise, added: “I am delighted at this news, and so pleased to see funders investing in the work of change required to implement the conclusions of the Care Review.

“With their support, more initiatives to support children and families will happen and flourish across Scotland. We will only ‘Keep The Promise’ made to children and families by working together across organisations, sectors, geography and beyond.

“The care community demanded change – we all have a role to play to deliver it.”

Dundee City Council children and families services convener, councillor Stewart Hunter, said: “We are committed to having the voices of children and families at the centre of our work to support them.

“Dundee City Council is grateful for this funding to continue the crucial work of the ‘What Matters to You’ project.

“Following the report of the independent review, we have recently launched Our Promise to Care Experienced Children and Young People to help improve our services for the future.”

Eddie Fraser, chief executive of East Ayrshire Council, said the What Matters to You project had provided support for vulnerable young people and their families, with a particular focus on families with children at the edges of care, to help develop positive outcomes for those most impacted by negative underlying circumstances.

Both BBC Children in Need and The Hunter Foundation will give £1m, with funding from The Hunter Foundation coming from a donation pledged to BBC Children in Need in 2020.

Source, The Courier, April 2021

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