The Promise’s four year anniversary


Today marks four years since Scotland published The Promise, the report that followed an independent care review requested by the government.

On publishing the report, Scotland made a promise to care experienced children and young people that they will grow up loved, safe, and respected.

Since then, we have been listening to our local care experienced community and working with them to help us deliver on our commitment to #KeepThePromise in East Ayrshire. As we look back over the past year, we continue to be inspired by the creativity and drive our children and young people show, and we are grateful for all their valuable support and input to our work.

A key highlight from 2023 was the ‘Hope Hack’ event, a joint venture with What Matters To You, The Hope Collective and East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership. Young people were invited to share their ideas for tackling current social issues with local leaders, covering topics such as education, employability, housing, the environment and mental health. The event empowered young people to voice what’s important to them, helping to shape our forthcoming Children’s Services Plan and inform improvement projects.

Our Care Experienced Cabinet was back in full swing, providing a space for care experienced young people to share their views and concerns on a variety of themes and to agree actions on how to overcome them. Formerly known as the ‘Pizza and Coke’ forum, each cabinet meeting focussed on a different theme, such as ‘Feeling Safe and Being Safe’ and ‘Standing on My Own Two Feet’.

The popular ArtClub? continued to push boundaries as they opened their very first exhibition at the Dick Institute, titled Agora. Attendees were invited to “enjoy and be challenged” by artwork inspired by the artists’ lived experiences of care. The group also celebrated Care Experienced Week with an open day at Kilmarnock’s Skills and Employability Hub (SL33).

A final highlight with a fitting heartfelt message saw five East Ayrshire young people leave their mark at a famous landmark in Glasgow, painting an impressive mural at the railway arches running alongside the Clydeside Expressway. The unique experience involved working with renowned artists through a series of workshops teaching street art techniques. The towering artwork is emblazoned with the slogan ‘I choose love’.

You can find out more about East Ayrshire’s promise to children and young people on our Promise webpage.