Wooden Spoon minibus to connect children in care in Scotland

TRUSTEE approval has been granted for Wooden Spoon Scotland to donate £30,000 to “Who Cares? Scotland”, a charity which stands up for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young children with experience of the care system.  The money will be used to buy a minibus that will help tackle the social isolation children face when removed from parents who can’t provide them with the love and support they need to thrive.

Last year there were 15,317 looked after children in Scotland, and 2,723 children on the Child Protection register. Whilst the aim is that the care system provides a safe, effective and positive choice for children at risk when needed, young people in care often struggle to form stable relationships by being part of a system that can make them feel different from others and lack a sense of belonging.

“Who Cares? Scotland” wants to ensure that all care experienced young people can connect with each other. The Wooden Spoon minibus will be used to bring the young people the charity supports together at conferences, youth groups, summer camps and residential events where they can share experiences, make friends and become part of a new, extended family.

In their own words

“Who Cares? Scotland” Case Study: When we hired a minibus:

In April last year, I hired minibus so that children from Kilmarnock could come to a Foster Care fun day in Glasgow. I collected a group of ten care-experienced young people aged 6 – 11.

As the young people began to board the Glasgow bound minibus the joy and excitement they were experiencing at being reunited with each other was evident in their smiles and screams and as brothers and sisters, who live apart in different homes, hugged each other tight.

As the journey progressed the chatter amongst the young people was interrupted only by their singing and requests to turn the radio up and I noted what a different experience this was from the very first occasion we had gathered this group together in the same way. On that day the conversation on the minibus had started cautiously, with each of the young people tentatively checking out whether what I had told them was true: that they weren’t the only ones who didn’t live with their Mum/Dad – every young person travelling on the minibus was in care.

What the children say:

‘It was an exciting experience going on the minibus, I’ve been in taxis before and larger cars but it was really something different going in the minibus.  It would be excellent if we could do it more often. I really liked that I could see everyone that was travelling with us and it was good fun, better fun than being in the separate cars and having to pick only certain people to travel with, because the minibus can take a larger number of people than the cars.’ – Andrew (age 10).

‘We all thought it was fun and were singing songs together, I liked it. It was very exciting getting to sit together and I had fun, I actually really liked going for ice cream on the bus.  Do you think we’ll get to go on the minibus again? That would be cool!’ – Martin (age 7).

 ‘It was great going on the minibus and sitting beside lots of people. We all arrived at the same time instead of a different times. It was really good fun.  I liked the minibus it was so cool.’ – Daniel (age 8).