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Who Cares? Scotland minibus hits the road

FORMER Scotland centre Graeme Morrison was joined by Glasgow Warriors players at Scotstoun Stadium to hand over a new minibus to Who Cares? Scotland, who stand up for some of Scotland’s most vulnerable young children with experience of the care system. Wooden Spoon donated £30,000 for the minibus which is already helping tackle the social isolation young people in care often experience.

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.

Life can be difficult and is often full of uncertainty for this group. Last year there were 15,317 looked after children in Scotland, and 2,723 children on the Child Protection register. The children have been removed from all that is familiar to them. Their home, school, friends and connections can all change overnight when entering the care system.

The charity aims to help these vulnerable children and young people make sense of, and begin to understand the formal processes that they are involved in. This can be a very confusing time for them as they try to process the new part of their identity that the care system has thrust upon them. The minibus helps to bring the children together at various events where they have the opportunity to create connections that last and can be depended on. This is vital for young people who often lead transient lives and feel isolated from friends, family and any kind of familiarity.

Duncan Dunlop, Chief Executive, Who Cares? Scotland, said; “The funding from Wooden Spoon enabling Who Cares? Scotland to purchase our brand new minibus is already having a huge impact on the unique opportunities we are able to offer children and young people in care. The minibus instantly removes the barriers of money, accessibility and transport that care experienced young people often face, enabling them to participate in fun activities and trips, attend groups and socialise with their peers, as well as getting involved in our influencing work – both locally and nationally across Scotland.”

The benefits of the programme will be reaped for years to come as more young people will be able to attend events and engage with each other.

It is already having a great effect as can be seen from some of the comments received so far from the young people who have been on trips.

  • Candice, 16: “I love coming on the minibus as it means we’re doing something fun. There is always lots of noise and everyone is hyper but sometimes I don’t see people very often and we have a good laugh on the bus.”
  • Chris, 10: “The bus is good for getting to places. I have been on trips to the fire station, learning to do canoeing and also the Safari park. It is good we don’t need to pay because my Nana couldn’t afford it.”
  • Demi, 17: “It’s not a party bus but it feels a bit like it. It let’s us go places that we wouldn’t normally get like going to summer camp in Perth. It took us all there and back and all our stuff. The best place to go is McDonalds!”
  • Paula, 23: “I have been a few places on the bus , it’s great to get picked up. I don’t have much money spare for fares to go places and always walk. I love music, writing my own and performing and it means I can get to the group where I see a tutor.”

Interested in finding out more about how you can help children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage near you? Contact your local region they’d love to hear from you.