News: Churchill Fellow plans international gathering of Care Experienced people
Published: 25 Oct 2018
Churchill Fellow Callum Lynch has instigated the first ever international gathering of Care Experienced people. The Global Care Family Gathering will take place in North Ayrshire on Saturday 27 October.
Callum conceived of the idea for the event whilst travelling on his Fellowship earlier this year. It will bring together almost 200 Care Experienced people and feature speakers from the USA, Australia and New Zealand, as well as Callum himself.
The day before the event there will be a march through Glasgow, the Lifetime of Love rally, in support of a lifetime of equality, respect and love for all Care Experienced people.
Callum, who organised the Global Care Family Gathering with the charity he works for, Who Cares? Scotland, believes the event will be an opportunity for people with experience of living in care to come together to embrace their identity and become a global movement for change. He said:
“Society often sees Care Experienced people as damaged, troubled or bad. I want to bring Care Experienced people together to celebrate who we are, connect and feel part of something bigger. We have recognised a need for change. I want to take this further and ensure that all Care Experienced people globally are recognised in a positive way and have a lifetime of equality, respect and love.”
For his Fellowship travels, Callum went to Sweden and the USA to explore approaches to enabling young people in care to have their voices heard. He believes that people with experience of care must be listened to for the care system to improve. He said:
“For decades, care has been more damaging than beneficial for children. Care Experienced people are not listened to and decisions are made for them. I know meaningful change cannot be made if we don’t listen to the voices of Care Experienced people.”
Since his travels, Callum has helped to create a partnership between Who Cares? Scotland and Swedish organisation Knas Hemma, who he visited during his trip. He said of his Fellowship:
“My Fellowship was the most incredible experience of my life. I have had an incredibly tough life and an opportunity like this seemed so far out of my reach. I learned so much, met incredible people and came back with a desire and knowledge to make real and meaningful change.”