I think it’s fair to say that this is one of the most interesting times I have lived through in terms of an ever changing political landscape. It feels to me that, since the independence referendum, we haven’t known from one week to the next how policy might suddenly shift and our perceptions of the future might change.
Throughout these turbulent times, I have seen the challenges facing children and young people across Scotland increase. BBC Children in Need is a responsive funder and through the reports from our grantees, we are one of the first organisations to see where patterns of need are emerging. We also see how children and young people are so often viewed negatively by society despite the evidence we read about every day of the amazing things they achieve, often in the most difficult of circumstances.
It was with this in mind that I applied to become a member of the SCVO Policy Committee last year.
Since joining, I’ve had the opportunity to champion children and young people on a whole range of issues. This isn’t just at meetings. We all keep in regular contact using Basecamp which means we can quickly exchange views, provide opinions or simply strike up a conversation. It’s certainly made me reflect about some subjects that I might not necessarily have thought relevant for disadvantaged children and young people. Committee members are all experts in their respective fields and passionate about their particular areas of work. I have learned a lot from them.
The meetings themselves are good, open discussions – both constructive and candid. Exactly as they should be when considering how particular policy issues might impact on the third sector. I’ve made new contacts and revived old contacts. We work best as a sector when we collaborate to have the biggest impact and I’ve found the SCVO Policy Committee is an ideal platform for this.
If you want to ensure your organisation and the people you work with are represented in shaping our collective stance on policy, I would urge you to consider applying to join the committee in this current recruitment round.
Paul is the National Head – Scotland (Interim) of BBC Children in Need.