A children’s charity is lighting up Glasgow City Chambers in a new tartan to mark National Care Day. The tartan, which was created by young people in care and Glasgow fashion designers Black Cherry Studio, exists so that those in care will always have their own family identity together. Two projectors will flood the front of Glasgow City Chambers in tartan from 5.30pm on Thursday, 18th of February and the campaigners will be joined by the Leader of Glasgow City Council to mark the event.
More than 15500 young people are growing up in care in Scotland, with Glasgow being home to just over 3500 of them. Many care experienced young people report feeling judged and isolated as a result of being in care. Although more than 90% of young people are taken into care because they experience neglect or abuse, they often experience people within their communities marking them out as “bad kids”.
National Care Day has come as the result of five charities representing children in care and care leavers across the UK and Ireland joining together. The charity alliance, titled ‘5 Nations 1 Voice’, will connect and support these young people to shape policy and effect change across the UK and Ireland. As part of the 5 Nations, 1 Voice alliance launch, Friday 19 February 2016 has been named #CareDay, with activities planned across the nations.
Supported by a £499,745 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, 5 Nations 1 Voice brings together Who Cares? Scotland, The Who Cares? Trust (England), Voices from Care (Wales), VOYPIC (Northern Ireland) and EPIC (Ireland). Each organisation is uniquely positioned in their own nation, and they share a common purpose: to represent the views or promote the voices of care-experienced young people to improve their experiences and outcomes.
The alliance is launching with #CareDay on Friday 19 February, a day to celebrate the achievements of children in care and care leavers and share our dreams for a world in which their life chances are equal to those of their peers.
As well as the City Chambers light up, #CareDay is being marked across Scotland with young people job shadowing Chief Executives of some of Scotland’s local authorities, the launch of the first ever Care Experienced Manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections and a special hustings with Aileen Campbell MSP, Iain Gray MSP and others seeking election to Holyrood in May.
#CareDay will be marked elsewhere in the UK with care-experienced young people taking part in a huge balloon release in Cardiff, a ‘Care Factor’ karaoke party at Belfast City Hall, a huge online conversation across England and a celebratory event showcasing care-experienced young people’s talents at the Ombudsman for Children’s Office in Dublin.
“It is great to see so many young people, organisations and politicians joining the #CareDay celebrations. There are so many talented care-experienced young people, in every part of Scotland, and we are all determined that they get the chance to reach their potential. #CareDay allows us to celebrate the achievements of care-experienced people and make sure that a voice that is rarely heard gets the chance to speak out.
This alliance will amplify the collective voice of care-experienced people in a way that has never happened before. We know that #CareDay will make young people more confident in who they are and will make sure that no one ever feels ashamed of their care identity. #CareDay is a chance for people in Scotland and beyond, to send a clear message to young people that we are on their side.”